Since March 2010, Atlantic Hope has brought comfort to the lives of many vulnerable babies in the Western Cape. We have listed the stories of some of the children* of Atlantic Hope.
* Names have been changed to protect the privacy of these infants and their families.
Baby N spent her first month with her biological mother, who, recognising by December 2010 that she was not in a position to take care of her, made the painful decision to place her child up for adoption. She took Baby N to Child Welfare, where she was immediately transferred to Atlantic Hope where she received dedicated attention and care, including treatment by a local paediatrician. After ten days, Baby N was placed in more permanent care.
Baby O was given up for adoption by his mother, who subsequently tested positive for HIV. Before being brought to Atlantic Hope in May 2011, Baby O was briefly placed in another safety house, but the safety parents had become sick and needed respite. Although he had tested negative for HIV, the little boy was born with no immunity, and his consequent medical needs remained a constant challenge for Atlantic Hope. Carers tended to the child twenty-four hours a day, even accompanying him in hospital. Baby O spent three special months with Atlantic Hope before being adopted into a loving home. Atlantic Hope remains in close contact with Baby O in his new life, where he is thriving.
Baby E, Atlantic Hope’s first blue-eyed little girl, was born on 7 October 2011. She was our second placement from Groote Schuur Hospital. She was placed with Atlantic Hope via the Cape Town family court when she was only four days old. Baby E remained with us in temporary safe care pending her adoption. She has now been adopted by a loving family. We are overjoyed that she is with her forever family.
Baby S was placed into temporary, immediate safe care at Atlantic Hope after her mom was arrested in Sea Point, under the influence of alcohol. Baby S needed a place of safety while her mother was detained. She came to us slightly thin but this little one’s appetite was huge. As of January via the Cape Town Children’s Court, she was placed in the care of her grandmother pending legal procedures. On the same day of her mother’s court appearance, she was re-united with her biological mother and grandmother via the Children’s Court and ACVV Cape Town. A court enquiry has been opened and she remains in her grandmother’s care whilst her biological mother is still able to care for her and seek rehabilitation
Baby J was born on the 28th October 2012. She was placed with us on 5th November 2012 upon discharge from hospital. Her mother was seen by the hospital Social Worker but claimed she had no residential address or contactable telephone numbers. Shortly after this she left the hospital unannounced therefore abandoning her child. While at Atlantic Hope, Social Services placed an ad in a local newspaper asking anyone who can assist in locating the baby’s mother to come forward. It was shortly discovered that her mom was in hospital receiving treatment for a severe psychiatric ailment. Baby J was placed in foster care on the 13th December 2012 with a relation of her mothers. Atlantic Hope remains in contact with the foster parents who have provided a loving, stable home for Baby J allowing her mother to recover and for Social Services time to work towards family reunification. We are thankful for being able to love and nurture Baby J while she was in our care.
Baby L was born into difficult circumstances in Joe Slovo Squatter Camp. This prevented Child Services from discharging Baby L into her mother’s care. Before being discharged on 17 March 2010 into the care of Atlantic Hope, Baby L was treated for chronic gastro, sepsis and anemia at the New Somerset Hospital. Atlantic Hope provided this little girl with a place of safety until the following day when social workers could place her in more permanent care
Baby E weighed only 1.96 kilograms when she was born in June 2010. Her mother is addicted to methamphetamine (‘Tik’) and suffers from drug-related seizures. Hospital staff, aware of the circumstances, refused to release the child into her care. The mother responded with aggression, attempting to remove the child from the hospital while high. Baby E has three siblings who are cared for by her grandparents, who were unable to take in another child. The sickly infant was then brought to Atlantic Hope, where her health improved. Within six weeks, she weighed 3.6 kilograms. She has been released into the care of her aunt
Baby A spent two days and one night at Atlantic Hope after being discovered in a prison cell of the Table Bay Harbour SA Police Service. His mother was being held in the prison, and she was still in the cell with the two month old baby. An on-duty Constable, alarmed by this situation, alerted ACVV, who contacted Atlantic Hope. The child was brought to Atlantic Hope for two days and one night until the mother was able to appear in court. The child was then reunited with his mother.
Baby M was abandoned by her mother shortly after her birth. She spent a month in the hospital before she was discharged into the care of Atlantic Hope. This little delight remained with us for over 3 months. Over the time she spent in our safe home, baby M’s progress was miraculous. What a ray of sunshine during the cold winter months! She is now in foster care.
In early September 2012 Atlantic Hope was contacted by a social worker with an emergency. The little boy who we were about to receive had been dropped and fallen onto into tar. After this incident he was abandoned. Upon arrival to Atlantic Hope, we took him to our supportive pediatrician for an examination. She reassured us that he had not sustained any injury from his fall and treated him for sever nappy rash. We were happy to hear from the doctor that he was doing just fine. Despite difficult beginnings Baby B was a wonderfully friendly child. Through the police his mom was able to trace her baby and a court case has been open in the local children’s court. Baby B has moved on to more permanent care waiting for a family member to be screened as a possible foster parent. We wish him well.
Baby J was abandoned by his mother when he was two weeks old. He was found at the Cape Town Station and placed, via Cape Town social workers, into our care, during May 2010. He was taken to a local GP in private practice who donated her services to Atlantic Hope. She diagnosed Baby J with an eye infection, chest cold and severe thrush. During the two weeks that Baby J stayed with us, he received dedicated care. He soon gained weight and returned to good health. Baby J is now in the devoted care of Sister Margaret at Nazareth House. Baby J’s story remains one of hope – he is regularly visited by his biological father, who is committed to have Baby J placed in his care. Plans are currently in motion for Baby J to move in with his father.
Baby S was born six weeks premature. Her parents, recognising that they were unable to provide for her, decided to arrange an open adoption. Atlantic Hope was identified as a suitable place of safety for the child in February 2011, but Baby S was forced to remain in the care of the Red Cross Hospital while undergoing critical corrective surgery. During her time here, Atlantic Hope paid for all medical requirements not provided by the various medical specialists that donated their time and expertise. Baby S stayed with Atlantic Hope for a further eight weeks, before embarking on a new life with her delighted adoptive parents. Atlantic Hope remains in contact with Baby S’s new family, and share the joy that she has brought to them.
Baby T was born at the New Somerset Hospital on 2 August 2011. Her mother had indicated that she was relinquishing her child for adoption after delivering this healthy baby girl, but left the hospital before meeting with the adoption social worker. Baby T, placed in a particularly vulnerable position as social workers searched for her mother, spent the next seventeen days unclaimed in the hospital. On Friday 19 August Baby T was placed in our care on a Form 36 (Authority for the Removal of Child to Temporary Safe Care, according to the Children’s Act, 2005). The mother was subsequently found. Following a court appearance, the magistrate retained the baby in the care of Atlantic Hope while the Department of Social Development allocated a social worker to the case to assist the family and assess the home situation in terms of the best interest of the child concerned; an arrangement was soon reached. Baby T was reunited with her family, and Atlantic Hope remains in touch and has been able to assist her family with essentials.
Born prematurely and weighing a mere 887g at birth, baby R was resilient against the struggles she continued to face daily. Marilyn had kangaroo cared for baby R at the hospital before her arrival at the Atlantic Hope nursery. Newborns, especially premature infants, need the warmth of skin to skin contact to develop healthily. At the time of discharge she weighed 1860g and was feeding on only 40ml of milk every 2 hours. Although her stay was short Baby R’s progress in gaining weight was significant and needed no medical attention while in our care. She is now in more permanent home.
Spread love everywhere you go. Let no on ever come to you without leaving happier.