SUVA, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- About 78 children are given up for adoption annually in Fiji from either abused women or single mothers.
[NOTE: The entire population of Fiji is estimated to be between 838,724 and 944,720 - or about the population of the state of Delaware]
This has concerned stakeholders dealing with children in the Pacific island nation as more violence against children and women have been recorded.
Head of Fiji's Ministry of Social Welfare Jiko Luveni said on Monday there were several reasons why mothers opted to give up their children for adoption and that the increase was a concern.
In cases of married women, it was the ones who faced financial problems or differences with their husbands that gave up their children.
The National Adoption Board in the island nation said that many of the women have no other option because they have no means to support the children as poverty slowly grips the country with no job opportunities for the thousands that have left their rural villages in search of greener pastures in the urban towns.
These people later join the squatter settlements that have grown significantly since the political upheavals.
[NOTE: Baby brokers and easily misled "liberals" will be all over this! A new location's whose problems we can exploit - hooray! More babies that need "rescuing" - yipee!]
This came at a time when the divorce rate in Fiji has also increased.
Fiji Women's Crisis Center (FWCC) coordinator Shamima Ali said they deal with a large number of sexually abused women annually that come to their office or were referred through others for help.
It was these women who sometimes opted to give their children for adoption simply because they could not afford to fund expenses for their new born.
The Fiji Women's Crisis Center recorded 17 new cases of rape, 47 new cases of child abuse and six cases of sexual harassment, from the beginning of the year until October 2009.
The Fijians Affairs Board also expressed concern on adoption and marriage breakups and emphasized the importance of family values.
They said divorce was increasing because of the breakdown in the society and most Fijians in urban centers were caught in the wrong company resulting in extra-marital affairs because of cultural shock.