BABY DUMPING & INFANTICIDE ARE CRIMES:
But understand the reasons that lie behind.
Although the terms ‘baby-dumping” and “infanticide” are well known by the legal authorities, police as well as by the general public, there are in fact no crimes with these names. The applicable crimes are murder or attempted murder, culpable homicide, exposing a child, abandonment of an infant or concealment of birth. Abandonment of an infant is a crime in terms of section 18 of the Children’s Act 33 of 1960. Some African countries such as Zimbabwe have special laws on infanticide which distinguishes it from other forms of murder.
Understand the Problem1
A baby is born. Is he wanted? Who is his mother? Is she married? Does she have a partner or family able to provide support to her and her infant? How old is the mother? Is she educated? Is she prepared emotionally and otherwise mature enough to give the child the care and foundation he/she needs for a good start in life? These questions should make us think of the circumstances into which a child is born and of how they can determine the entire course of his/her life. The reproductive choices of women significantly affect both their life prospects and those of their children. The age of the mother, the spacing of births, and care during pregnancy and delivery are important determinants of infant survival and progress through childhood. The burden of being born to a Young Mother: Children born to adolescent mothers are usually at a disadvantage, given the mother’s physical and emotional immaturity. The risks are especially great for the child if its mother is a young teen (12-16), if she is unmarried, if she is poor, or if the child is unwanted. The burden of being born to an adolescent mother is greatest when all of these conditions prevail. Sex Preference: In many countries girls suffer from deep-seated cultural preference for sons. Strong preference for male children has led to sex-selective abortion of female fetuses and...