a blog with cultural bulimia.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

That baby found floating on a lake in Belo Horizonte.

 Every now and then a news story seems to have an unusually high effect on us. Babies are abandoned all the time by their parents. In Brazil and elsewhere in the world. There are tons of homeless kids around waiting to be adopted. Yet...

In this case, there was the added drama of the rescue being caught by an amateur video and shown on national TV:
Amateur footage broadcast on Globo TV showed rescuers using a long tree branch to pull the black plastic bag out of the water. They opened the bag and found the girl inside, wearing a pink dress. Guardian
The mother has been arrested but she denies having thrown the baby out -- she says she paid a homeless woman R$5 (about U$2) to keep the baby she did not want.

The story has sparked an adoption rush: "The hospital in Belo Horizonte has been inundated with offers to adopt the two-month-old and telephone lines are jammed, officials said." Is it a happy ending? Far from it.

I think it's great this baby will have a home and that its story has attracted worldwide attention. But why isn't the discussion - and the solution - going beyond this case?

Homeless kids are the ugliest facet of the Brazilian reality.