“Children 'dumped in streets by Greek parents who can't afford them',” runs a UK Daily Mail headline as Greece teeters on the brink on defaulting on its debt mountain.
It’s hard to tell whether this aspect of the unfolding Greek tragedy is exaggerated for the sake of a fresh headline, but the Athens Ark of the World Youth Centre says it has had four children, including a newborn baby, left on its doorstep in recent months. The priest who founded the centre, Fr Antonios Papanikolaou, says:
'Over the last year we've had hundreds of parents who want to leave their children with us. They know us and trust us.
'They say they do not have any money or shelter or food for their kids, so they hope we might be able to provide them with what they need.'
This doesn’t happen only in Greece, of course, and since even one abandoned child is a tragedy, we should look for a tidier solution to the parents’ situation.
When a parent wants to divorce a spouse they can go to court and get a proper settlement. So, why not allow parents to divorce their kids (or vice versa)? It would be far more sensible than dumping them on a street and running away. It seems unnatural, but in the 21st century, "naturalness" is pretty old-fashioned stuff.
Adults can legally acquire a baby by using donor gametes and a surrogate mother, just because they want a child. Why can’t they also have a well-regulated system for disposing of a child they no longer want, for one reason or another?