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The culture of abandonment in the former USSR

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Here is a story about a father, from New Zealand, who chose to keep his son (born with Down Syndrome), despite pressure from the Armenian officials for him to abandon the child to the state. His wife, an Armenian, refused to touch the baby in order to avoid becoming attached to him.

This story highlights several points, which are at the heart of C.O.A.T.S. International's mission:
1) The Soviet mentality that the state is a better caretaker for children - particularly for disabled children - than parents persists today.
2) Officials in former Soviet countries continue to pressure parents to abandon their children.
3) The entire former Soviet Union lacks the resources and programs to help parents keep their babies.
4) Programs for disabled children in these countries are horribly lacking. 

For more information about this crisis, UNICEF has a very thorough report documenting the lack of resources or options for parents of disabled children. 

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