The gift of a child is often the highlight of a woman’s life. But, in certain circumstances, children can be a personal curse. Especially in extremely poor countries where access to contraception and family planning education is almost non-existent. Having a child in abject poverty is not only hugely inconvenient, it can also be a very real threat to the child’s safety.
And if one unwanted child is difficult, imagine having triplets… Jeaneta Bente doesn’t need to imagine, she faced that very situation. Living in a particularly desolate and poor part of Romania, she felt she had no choice but to abandon her three newborns at the hospital. It broke her heart, but she couldn’t afford to feed and look after them.
But not long after she returned home, she saw a report about the triplets on television. As she had not officially signed them over, they couldn’t be adopted. Unlike many Western countries which have so-called ‘Safe Haven’ laws allowing adoption in abandonment cases. Romanian mothers need to fill in paperwork. So she returned and did the right thing.
The three siblings have now been put in a local children’s home. No doubt soon they’ll be picked up by a family and loved and cared for.
“I hope people can understand that I just don’t have any possibility to feed or care for them,” Bente says, with regret. “But I wish them the best and hope they have a better life than I can give them.”