Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Abandonment of children in the nineteen century and now

From Le Boulevard. Gustave Doré. 1862-1863. A couple abandoning their child at a hospice, where unwanted children were cared for by the state.

"Hospices: Mothers who could either not care for or did not want their children abandoned them at a hospice. As many as one-fourth to one-half of the illegitimate babies born in Paris each year were taken to a hospice. There was one in each arrondissement(section) in Paris due to the high number of abandoned children. Most women either left their babies at the actual hospice, or gave birth at the hospital and when the police and hospice authorities could not deter the mother from abandoning the child,they signed a form stating they were abandoning their child. From here, the authorities took the baby to the hospice. This was primarily done because abandoning children on the street was illegal. Also, at this time, there was no adoption program established."

This is from a site that is using the work of Victor Hugo "Les Misérables" to talk about some of the social issues of the time. This is a physical abandonment and although they are no more left in hospices babies are still abandoned... at streets, garbages, name it.
There are numerous kinds of abandonment and even at home surrounded by parents and a whole bunch of people some children are not seen, heard even noticed. I don't think I have to say anything else. These are scenes we would no longer want to see but I doubt it will ever end.


Mike Golch said...

Ana,Great posting.

Ana said...

Thank you.
I believe that childhood and adolescence should be respected.
Unfortunately it's not.

Marj aka Thriver said...

Yes, sometimes I think the pain of rejection, abandonment, feeling tossed aside, etc., can feel even worse than the outward abuse. I don't know how that works, but that's how it is for me sometimes.

Ana said...

It all hurts and causes many problems.
I don't understand why some people have children.
There are women who don't like children that plan to have them.
It's hard to understand each individual character and psychology.

CailinMarie said...

abandonment is such a horrible loss. and yet, I truly believe that all of us can overcome, move on, heal, and be instruments of healing. don't be too harsh on birth mothers who find placement - and I'm not talking trash cans here - we can only know what we've experienced.
I am rather impressed actually that Paris had hospices to raise the children at the cost of the state.

CailinMarie said...

sorry, I had to come back... the address on the link is mhc - I went there! :-)

Ana said...

They were not "raised" at hospices. They were left there and many died.
I'm talking about abandonment in a very wide sense.
I was abandoned although I had a house and parents around.
Perhaps leaving a baby you know you cannot raise is better than keeping "it" and expose them to physical or emotional abuse.
Some people spend their lives trying to heal, overcome and move on despite abuses that causes many emotional pain that sometimes makes living very poor.
It's not about chasing mothers. It's about respecting children and adolescents and try to give them what they need not to have ontological problems or a traumatized life that can causes many distress.
Thanks you for the comment.
We only see things differently.
Which link is mhc?
I didn't understand.