Child abandonment is a heartbreaking reality that affects countless children worldwide, including in the Philippines. For many children, the trauma of being abandoned can impact their lives, affecting their physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Despite the efforts of government agencies and non-profit organizations to address the issue, child abandonment remains a persistent problem. 


In this blog, we will explore the causes and consequences of child abandonment in the Philippines and discuss possible solutions to this critical issue. Join us as we delve deeper into this topic and learn how we can work together to protect and care for the most vulnerable members of our society.

child abandonment

Child abandonment is leaving a child under 18 without proper care and supervision and without any intention of returning to take responsibility for the child’s welfare. Child abandonment is widespread in the Philippines, affecting thousands of children yearly.


According to Republic Act 7610, otherwise known as the “Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act,” child abandonment includes the act of leaving a child without any means of support, leaving a child in the care of others without any intention of returning or failing to give necessary care, assistance, or attention to a child.


Child abandonment can occur in various ways. It can be intentional, such as when parents or guardians leave their child in a public place or simply walk away from their child without intent to return. It can also be unintentional, such as when a parent or guardian dies or becomes incapacitated, leaving their child without proper care.


Whatever the cause, child abandonment can devastate a child’s life, causing them to suffer from emotional, physical, and psychological trauma. The child may also suffer from malnutrition, lack of access to healthcare, and other essential needs for survival.


It is important to note that child abandonment is considered a crime under Philippine law. Anyone found guilty of committing child abandonment may face criminal charges and penalties.

Causes of child abandonment in the Philippines

The Philippines has been grappling with the issue of child abandonment for many years. Several factors contribute to this problem, including poverty, lack of education, unwanted pregnancies, and social stigma.



Poverty is one of the primary causes of child abandonment in the Philippines. Many families struggle to provide their children with basic needs such as food, shelter, and education. As a result, some parents may resort to leaving their children in the care of relatives, friends, or even on the streets.

Lack of Education

Another factor contributing to child abandonment in the Philippines is a lack of education. Parents who lack education may not understand the importance of providing for their children’s needs or may not have the skills to do so. Parents may sometimes abandon their children due to a lack of knowledge on adequately caring for them.

Unwanted Pregnancies

Unwanted pregnancies are also a significant cause of child abandonment in the Philippines. Teenage pregnancy rates are high in the country, and some parents may feel overwhelmed and unable to care for their children. Some may give them up for adoption, while others may abandon them altogether.

Social Stigma

Lastly, social stigma also contributes to child abandonment in the Philippines. Unmarried mothers and their children are often stigmatized and ostracized by their communities. This discrimination can lead to shame and guilt, causing some mothers to abandon their children.

Impact of Abandonment on Children

Child abandonment severely affects children’s physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. Abandoned children are vulnerable to abuse, neglect, and exploitation and are at a higher risk of experiencing poverty, malnutrition, and poor health.


Children abandoned at a young age may suffer from attachment disorders, leading to difficulties in forming healthy relationships in the future. They may also experience developmental delays, speech problems, and emotional disturbances.

Addressing the Issue: Enabling Children and Families


Solving the issue of child abandonment in the Philippines requires a multi-faceted approach. The government, non-government organizations, and the community must work together to support and assist families and children in need.


One possible solution is to provide education and job opportunities for parents. Through this program, parents can gain the skills they need to provide for their children, which can alleviate poverty.

The government can also provide families and children better access to healthcare, education, and social services. Among these programs are adoption, foster care, and child support.


Non-government organizations can also play a significant role in addressing child abandonment in the Philippines. They can provide needy families with financial support, education, and counseling services. They can also offer shelters and other temporary housing for abandoned children.


Lastly, the community must work together to reduce the social stigma associated with child abandonment. One way to promote acceptance and understanding of single parents and their children is through education and awareness campaigns.

Understanding the Plight of Vulnerable Children

Studies have shown that poverty is the most common reason for child abandonment in the Philippines. Parents who cannot afford to provide for their children, especially those with special needs, are forced to leave them in public places like hospitals, churches, and markets. Some parents also resort to abandonment due to shame or fear of legal consequences if they cannot register their child’s birth.


Abandoned children are at risk of facing a wide range of negative consequences. They may suffer from malnutrition, physical and emotional abuse, and neglect. They are also more likely to experience social and emotional development difficulties, struggle with academic performance, and have a higher risk of dropping out. Abandoned children also face a higher risk of being exploited and falling victim to trafficking.


To address the issue of child abandonment, various organizations, and government agencies in the Philippines work to provide support for abandoned children. These agencies and organizations offer temporary shelter, legal aid, and counseling.


One such organization is the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The DSWD operates residential care facilities, known as centers, for abandoned children. These centers provide temporary shelter and basic needs to children needing care and protection.


Other organizations like the Child Protection Network Foundation (CPN) work to prevent child abandonment by providing medical and legal services to families in crisis. The CPN also operates a crisis hotline for parents and caregivers needing support.


In addition to government agencies and non-profit organizations, some private individuals and corporations work to support abandoned children. One example is the Tahanan ng Pagmamahal Children’s Home, a non-profit organization providing long-term residential care to abandoned, neglected, foundling, and surrendered children.

Empowering Change for a Brighter Future


Addressing the issue of child abandonment requires a multifaceted approach that involves government agencies, NGOs, communities, and individuals. By understanding the root causes, consequences, and possible solutions, we can work together toward a society that protects and cares for its most vulnerable members. Our responsibility is to ensure that no child is left alone and deprived of the love and support they deserve.

Learn more about addressing child abandonment in the Philippines and how Tahanan ng Pagmamahal is making a difference in the lives of abandoned children.