Jacki and Jon’s Story
Before coming to PathFinders, first-time mum Jacki* and newborn baby Jon had no access to health services in Hong Kong. With our midwife Hanna’s help, Jon and his mum have now received full post-natal care and been referred to medical professionals for check-ups.
Sumi’s and Callum Story
Mum Sumi secured a birth certificate for baby Callum with social worker Vanessa’s guidance and assistance. With his new identity, Callum will be able to apply for a passport, receive child immunizations and go to school in the future.
Daisy’s and Leo’s Story
Daisy approached PathFinders whilst pregnant and still employed as a domestic worker.
PathFinders helped Daisy to liaise with her employers, who were at first unsupportive but eventually decided to support Daisy.
When baby Leo was born, Daisy was unable to contact the father, Andrew, a Hong Kong permanent resident. He had ended their relationship and cut off all contact with Daisy since learning of the pregnancy.
After obtaining Leo’s birth certificate, PathFinders insisted that baby Leo’s Hong Kong resident status be established. Daisy issued a paternity suit and maintenance claim against Andrew with help from PathFinders’ Access to Justice Programme.
Following a successful result, Andrew has gradually started to take active parenting and now visits and cares for baby Leo who receives love from both his parents.
Netra spent the first four years of her life living without an identity. She had never accessed social services, been to school or received identification. She did not exist. Her mother had been unlawfully terminated from her job when she became pregnant.
After finding PathFinders, a social worker helped Netra’s mum to submit a paternity claim and re-register her father, a Hong Kong Permanent Resident, on Netra’s birth certificate. After a 9 month long process, Netra could access the healthcare and education she was entitled to. Netra’s mother had applied for asylum-seeker status. Having faced these hurdles, PathFinders are thrilled to report that Netra is now healthy and well and attending school – meeting friends, playing with peers and receiving an education!
As we close up our Lunar New Year campaign, you can make a difference to the lives of more children like Netra.
Samira and Rohit’s Story
Samira and her 7-day old baby had been homeless, sleeping unprotected in an outdoor garden during winter. Rohit had a serious infection, due to improper care and poor hygiene.
After coming to PathFinders, a social worker took both to the hospital for a professional diagnosis. Samira received parental counselling and child development education from the PathFinders team.
Fatima heard about PathFinders from a friend, and started coming to education classes to join our community of like-minded mothers. Her desire for community quickly turned into a desire for knowledge and growth, and Fatima began attending every class she could about parenting, child development and communication skills.
Four years later, Fatima still attends classes – often dropping in to the PathFinders office once a week. Her sons are her inspiration, and it’s Fatima’s goal to teach her sons everything she learns. Having tutored her older son in English at home, he is number one in his English class at school.
Susi, a young Indonesian domestic worker in Hong Kong, was fired from her job after giving birth to her baby, Adam*. She could not care for him and, fearing her survival, Susi abandoned the newborn child. PathFinders heard about Susi’s story from another nonprofit organization, and a team of social workers and counselors worked with her to develop an arrangement that considered both her and Adam’s future. After discussing and deciding on an adoption plan, PathFinders assisted Susi with completing the necessary documentation, thus providing Adam with the opportunity to have a new and loving family.
Susi’s employer approached the employment agency for help when Susi was missing from work. After some investigating, they found her at hospital having just given birth to a baby boy. Her employer terminated her contract immediately.
Susi revealed that she would like to make an adoption plan for her baby in Hong Kong. However, the hospital’s medical social worker said it was not possible for Adam to be adopted in Hong Kong because Susi was not a resident. Susi, who felt she could not tell her family about her baby boy because he was mixed race and born out-of-wedlock, considered taking Adam home to Indonesia and giving him away to some farmers who were in need of extra hands. Adam’s future looked grim.
PathFinders, upon being approached for help, initially provided Susi and Adam with emotional support and daily supplies including food, diapers, and clothing. The organization also arranged for temporary shelter for the mother and child, and referred Susi and Adam to an Integrated Family Services Center Social Worker who agreed to initiate admission of Adam to the Social Welfare Agency’s adoption pool. After PathFinders pressed the social welfare departments, they agreed that they did not have sufficient reason to bar Adam from being adopted in Hong Kong.
After Susi signed an ‘Initial Declaration of Birth Parents’ to declare her wish to relinquish her baby for adoption, she went missing. Although she told friends she went home to Indonesia to get additional documents, she never returned and ceased all contact with PathFinders. Hong Kong authorities was forced to treat Adam as an abandoned baby and he was made Ward of the Social Welfare Department.
Months later, authorities successfully traced Susi’s return to Hong Kong. However, she felt terrified and refused to speak with government representatives. She had a new employment contract and could not risk losing her job again.
PathFinders reached out to Susi and gave her the courage to resurface from hiding, highlighting why it was necessary for Adam to be adopted quickly. Respecting her need for privacy, PathFinders worked with Susi to provide the documentation needed to process the papers. After several months gathering information from Indonesia, preparing legal declarations and arranging translation, Adam was made eligible for adoption at 13 months of age.
PathFinders successfully supported the interests of both mother and child with support from other NGOs and other statutory agencies.
With PathFinders’ support and resources for vulnerable newborn babies, new mums in distress can gain the confidence and clarity to make decisions that are in the best interests of the baby and within the law, to secure a stable future for their infant.
*All names have been changed to protect identity