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Sunday, 13 November 2011

Abandoned Children

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I watched this documentary over the weekend about children who were fathered by American naval officers during the 80s in the Philippines. The US at the time had a naval base in the country and some of their officers met up with Filipino women who worked as prostitutes. In the process many of them got pregnant for these US military officers but when they returned back to the US, they left the women and more importantly their children behind.

At the time, the Philippines Authorities made representations to the US government but their case was dismissed. According to them the individual officers were responsible not the US government and they claimed prostitution was illegal in that country at the time. Anyway, what struck me the most about the documentary were the stories of two of the Amerisians, as they were referred to in the documentary. These two (a young man of 20 years and a girl of 16) were fathered by black American officers. This meant they had darker skin and were subjected to bullying and all sorts of name calling including the N-word in school and in their neighbourhoods.

What I found very sad about the whole story was the fact these children, though mostly adults now have grown up with an identity crisis. Whilst they struggle to gain acceptance in their home country, their father's country wouldn't recognise them as US citizens and for most of them their fathers aren't interested. During filming, the 16 year old girl mentioned earlier, got pregnant and dropped out of school. I found it hypocritical for the US to refuse responsibility or at least hold their officers responsible to look after their children but are at the forefront of championing child rights issues.

The issue of abandoned children is something that struck me during my university days in Nigeria. As a member of the Rotaract club, we often embarked on charity visits to motherless babies homes. Most of the children were victims of abandonment but to be fair we were never given the full details of how and why they ended up in the homes. Nonetheless whatever the circumstances, innocent children, who never chose to come into this world were made victims of a few minutes of 'fun'.

The decision to have children comes with huge responsibility and one that shouldn't be taken lightly. Whilst I accept there'll always be the odd cases of children born in this way but what they need is love and acceptance instead of stigmatisation and ridicule.


  1. Video no longer available.

    We might blame the US govt, but they can not be held accountable for the individual actions of their citizens. I think the mothers are also sometimes to blame. or maybe the men fed them with lies and they believing they would get US citizenship for their children if they become pregnant for these guys.

  2. I wonder how parents can abandon their own children. Maybe the fathers can claim they didn't know cos the women didn't tell them, but what about the women who actually dump their babies in dustbins? Terrible!

  3. Sad. funny thing is, some people have children and don't want them while others are craving to have them. and even to adopt is big money. pple just have fun too without thinking of the outcome of their having fun. i guess tht's just the way the world is now. doesnt make it right anyway

  4. @Lara, I understand where you're coming from but the bottomline was there were on official duty. Perhaps the US could do more to hold their own citizens accountable for their actions. We can blame the women, whatever their motives were which by the way we don't know and may never know. I'm more interested in the innocent children involved, who deserves better than the adults. Thanks for stopping by.

    @Myne, It's a sad state of affairs but people need to be accountable for their actions. Whether it's the woman or man's fault, society needs to do more to protect children from the indiscretions of adults.

    @Stelzz, I agree with you. It's an ironic world we live in. Good to see you back, seems you've been away.



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