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Child Indicators Research

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 659–683 | Cite as

Institutional Care and Child Abandonment Dynamics: A Case Study in Antananarivo, Madagascar

  • Valérie DelaunayEmail author
  • Lidia Galenao Germain
Article

Abstract

A “social market” for children care is growing in developing world, in a context of philanthropic support and strong demand for international adoption. Moreover, impoverishment of many urban families results in a high demand for social aid that governments have trouble to provide. We have explored the circumstances leading to the placement of 764 children using a survey conducted among 40 residential care institutions in Antananarivo, capital city of Madagascar. One third of these children have been abandoned or orphaned. Stigmatizations against some children (born to unmarried mothers) and the refusal to care for step-children in newly reconstituted families seem to be key factors for abandonment. Some two-thirds of children are not abandoned and have at least one parent alive. Families place these children for economic reasons. If residential placement is the best solution for some children, it is important to question the relevance of child placement as a response to deep poverty, which makes up the majority of cases (the two-thirds). How are responses influenced by adoption demand? What responses should be promoted? How is residential placement embedded within the national policy for child protection? Our findings highlight the need for a more in-depth understanding of the dynamics of child abandonment in view of prevention actions. This paper has also raised the need for coordinated actions based on a real dialogue and consultation among all the stakeholders.

Keywords

Childhood Institutional care Residential care Child abandonment Adoption 

Notes

Acknowledgment

We would like to thank UNICEF for providing financial support for the survey on residential care institutions in Antananarivo. Our thanks also go to the Syndicat Professionnel des Diplômés du Travail Social (SPDTS) for their support in organizing data collection and entry. We extend a warm thank to C. Benge, M. Razafindratsima, P. Vatinel, E. Harang, J. Ballet and S. Delcroix for their very useful comments on this paper.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UMR151 Laboratoire Population-Environnement-DéveloppementInstitut de Recherche pour le Dévloppement, IRDDakarSénégal
  2. 2.Development Aid and Child ProtectionTrignyFrance

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