Future looks brighter for 'forgotten children'

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 28 August, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 28 August, 1994, 12:00am

THE plight of Hong Kong's remaining ''forgotten children'' looks set to end as their parents and the Social Welfare Department act to remove them from the hospital room where they have spent their short lives.

In May, the Sunday Morning Post revealed the plight of the abandoned handicapped children who were forced to live in a room at Kwong Wah Hospital in Kowloon because there were no places for them in residential care.

The children received only basic nutritional and medical care.

Shortly afterwards, the Caritas Medical Centre offered places to the children. But transfer plans were hampered by their parents, who refused to sign the relevant papers, despite not visiting them.

The procedure would have meant either signing away all their rights to the children or taking responsibility for them at weekends.

According to Dr Jackson Ho Che-shun, four children have now been transferred to the centre. Two children remain.

''One child is about three,'' Dr Ho said. ''She has a heart problem and a chromosome abnormality. Her parents have refused to sign her off completely, but they have finally agreed that the child can be transferred to the Caritas centre and that they will take her home at weekends and public holidays.'' The case of the other child, a baby girl, is being handled by the Social Welfare Department. The Department said it was seeking foster parents for the child, whose parents were unable to look after her at present, yet did not want to ''sign her off''.