Macau has recorded three cases of suspected infant abandonment referred by hospitals from 2016 until June 2020, according to data provided by the Social Welfare Bureau (IAS).
However, the IAS noted that there is “no obvious trend in the data” regarding an increase or decrease in frequency of baby abandonment, explaining that within the four year period, there were no incidents recorded in 2018 or in the first half of 2020.
There are no adoption centers in Macau, and adoption in the SAR is a challenging procedure. The city has a total of nine homes for children and youth.
“Macau provides residential care services for minors who are in crisis due to various family situations (including suspected abandoned infant cases referred by hospitals) through nine homes for children and youths,” the IAS explained.
These children include those who are from single-parent families, families with disabled family members and families with patients of chronic illness and diseases.
“After receiving a referral for inpatient services in children’s and youth institutions, IAS will assess and determine the needs of the minors to be admitted to the children’s and youth institutions, allocate suitable institutions for them, and coordinate physical examinations and check-in procedures,” the bureau added.
To be transferred to these government-subsidized centers, the monthly total income of the child’s family if it is a two-member household should not be over 19,425 patacas, 26,775 patacas for three-member households, and 32,550 patacas for a four-member family.
IAS is the only legitimate agency to offer adoption services in the region.
According to the bureau, it can complete an adoption assessment in three months upon receiving an application.
Once validated by the court, the adoptive relationship will become irrevocable, to safeguard the best interests of the adopted child.
“The law requires a rigorous adoption procedure: application, assessment, matching, observation period for adoption, and court validation,” IAS stated.