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Cape couple opens doors to abandoned children

The couple have taken children in urgent need of temporary care into their home for the past 3 years.

A Cape Town family has spoken about the importance of adoption and the safety of abandoned children. Picture: Lauren Isaacs/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - A Cape Town father of a 17-month-old toddler has stressed the importance of adoption and providing orphaned and abandoned children with a safe and loving environment.

Kenilworth resident Terence Mentor, and his wife, have taken children in urgent need of temporary care into their home for the past three years.

Over that period they have acted as safe parents for about 14 children, until they decided to keep their son, who took emergency refuge in their home hours after his biological mother gave birth to him.

Mentor said there's a great need for safe parents in the city as local foster homes are often at full capacity.

"Well he's my firstborn, in the same way that he will be my firstborn if he grew in my wife's womb. He's my son. He's my flesh and blood not through genetics but through every other method."

A 2014 study by the National Adoption Coalition has found there are about 18.5 million children in South Africa, of which 4.5 million live with neither parent.

#ChildAbandonment Carers try their best to give each child an equal amount of love and attention. LI pic.twitter.com/8N3bZAqxvQ

YOUNG MOTHERS STUBBORN

A Khayelitsha woman said she believes one of the main contributors to the relatively high rate of child abandonment in Cape Town is the lack of parental guidance for teenage girls.

Phumla Mayekiso is one of the head carers at the Fikelela Children's Centre in Khayelitsha.

#ChildAbandonment The child and his older brother have been placed in foster care. LI pic.twitter.com/fjRkDFH5eK

She's been taking care of abandoned, neglected and abused minors' over the past 10 years.

Eyewitness News visited the centre following an apparent an increase in cases of child abandonment across Cape Town over the past few months.

Mayekiso said young girls need to be educated by their parents around teenage pregnancy.

"The real problem in our youth these days they are not listening because most of the kids are younger mothers and they need a lot of guidance. They want to sit in the taverns on weekends."

Cape Town Child Welfare said its stats show at least seven children have been abandoned in Cape Town this year so far.

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