A baby-abandonment center in Guangzhou where distressed parents can leave their unwanted infants has been closed down temporarily as staff cannot care for the large number of children being dropped off.
Xu Jiu, the director one of the city’s welfare centers, said in a press conference that 262 babies have been dropped off since the station opened on January 28, according to the China News Service, and that resources were being stretched thin.
Around 25 of such centers have been set up on the mainland across 10 provinces in China, SCMP reports. The stations have stirred up controversy, with critics arguing that they encourage parents to abandoned their children. Yet, in cases of the inevitable, the stations remain a far better choice than the alternative.
The China News Service report said that all the babies left at the center were ill. Examinations showed that 42 percent of the infants had cerebral palsy, 15 percent had Down’s syndrome and 12 percent had congenital heart disease. All of the infants have received medical treatment, although around nine percent have died, according to Xu.
Ye Fen, director of social welfare in the civil affairs bureau, said the city would start providing fantail aid to poor families with sick babies as to reduce the number of drop-offs.
Xu has cautioned parents against leaving their babies at the temporarily closed station, warning them that surveillance footage would be sent to police.