The Upper Highway Baby Home (UHBH) was established in 2019. Both Kerry and Gary are registered foster parents. Due to this, the Home has been screened to provide both temporary safe care and foster care for abandoned and vulnerable babies. These babies arrive with the paperwork necessary to facilitate adoption.
Many babies we receive are in a poor state of health. Some require both urgent and ongoing care and treatment to ensure successful adoption. Besides looking after the physical well being of these babies, we teach the babies how to function in a family environment. They learn to treat pets with care, travel in car seats, go to the shops and out for tea. In addition to this they get to socialise with other children and adults. We aim to provide all the normal experiences a loving family would offer them. This way, when the babies are adopted, their transition into family life is a smooth and happy one.
Every baby that comes through the UHBH doors becomes part of the Stanton family. They know they are wanted and loved beyond measure. Most importantly, it is a place where they are protected and prepared for the new life in a forever family that is already waiting for them.
We ensure the babies receive everything that they need in the first 2 years, so that the foundations for a healthy and productive life are well laid.
An estimated 40 000 babies are abandoned every year in South Africa and we only save about 3000 of these. The rest die alone after being abandoned in fields, thrown into rivers or toilets etc. A further 10 000 babies are placed for adoption, mostly by young mothers who have been abused or are in a situation where they have no means to bring the babies up in a healthy and stable environment.
The government facilities to support these babies are very poorly resourced and oversubscribed. Many babies end up in informal orphanage type situations with little hope of thriving and leading a productive life. Many do not survive the first two years and for those that do, they will stay in an orphanage for their entire childhood. They are then forced to leave with no support as soon as government grants are stopped. This further exacerbates the situation and in most cases the cycle of neglect continues for generations as these youngsters themselves become parents from as young as 14 years old. South Africa truly has a crisis that is not receiving sufficient attention!
We believe every child deserves a family that loves them and this is especially important in the formative years. The need for facilities to love and house abandoned babies in South Africa, and facilitate adoption into loving families, is dire.
If we help just a handful of babies every year we believe the impact will be significant. These children will have the opportunity to be part of a family and develop into loving socially responsible adults themselves.
We need to stop the cycle of neglect. We hope our example will be multiplied many times over throughout the country.