Police have confirmed they are investigating reports that a woman in Laamu Atoll used Facebook to announce her one-week old baby was up for adoption.
Local media have reported that the Facebook post – since taken down – said it was “a golden opportunity for anyone who wished for a cute, cute baby girl.”
While Minivan News was unable to obtain comment from the Ministry of Law and Gender today, local media was told that the ministry was also looking into rights of the child having been violated.
“Ministry has set up special procedures and ways in which a child can be put into the care of another, in cases where parents are unable to look after the child. Or for the child to be taken immediately into State custody,” Deputy Gender Minister Shidhatha Shareef told Haveeru.
Local NGO Advocating the Rights of Children (ARC) explained that cases of adoption are very rare in the Maldives, and so there is no clear legal framework such proceedings.
Minivan News has been told previously that the Maldives has no formal adoption procedures, with courts instead permitting permit a long-term guardianships – normally by extended family members.
While officials from Maavah Island Council told Haveeru that the gender ministry had been notified when the woman gave birth on December 11, though the ministry said it had not been notified that the family did not have resources to look after the child.
The child was reportedly born in the health center on the island, which has a population of 1,270.
Related to this story