Mixed-race child dumped in orphanage

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Tsumeb

The mother of a mixed-race child has pleaded with authorities to help her get back her child from an orphanage where she was dumped by her half-brother.
The despondent woman says her child was left at an orphanage without her knowledge and consent.

New Era is in possession of court documents in which the court ordered that the mixed-race child (a girl), born to a black mother and a white father, be placed in the care of her half-brother because of the physical and psychological challenges that she faced.

Suzanne Gaoas, the mother of a six-year-old girl, claims that her daughter’s paternal half-brother dumped the child at an orphanage called Hope Centre in Tsumeb without her knowledge despite undertaking to raise the child, as Gaoas is unemployed.
The six-year-old was born from Gaoas’s relationship with a white man, who employed her as a domestic hand.

Gaoas explained that she consented to her daughter’s paternal family caring for her child in 2012, in a written declaration because she was unemployed and she could not care for the girl.
“I was not working at the time and I felt it was responsible to give her to people that could give her a decent life. But I have since started working and it pains me that I am unable to see the child I gave birth to,” related a dejected-looking Gaoas.

Gaoas was a domestic help in the home of her daughter’s father and his wife.
She and the father of her child entered into a romantic relationship not long after his wife died and a child was born from the relationship. The white man even moved in with Gaoas to a black neighbourhood where he died from lung cancer shortly after the birth of their daughter. After his death, his son who was born within his marriage, agreed to take his half-sister and raise her.

This agreement was, however, not honoured, according to Gaoas. She also said she lost contact with the son of her late white lover, who moved away from the area.

In a written report by a private social worker, her daughter’s half-brother says he could no longer continue taking care of his half-sister because he could not come to terms with the fact that his father had a mixed-race child. The report read that the half-brother and his wife rejected her daughter because she is of mixed race and apparently “an embarrassment for them in society”.
The report that was compiled by Wendy Wilson, a private social worker, also says the half-brother wrote that having her daughter in their care is more painful than they could ever be able to cope with.

Gaoas claims the owners of the Hope Centre have been refusing her access to her daughter since July last year.

“It is unbearable to go each day without seeing a child that I brought into the world. I am working now and am capable of taking care of my child,” she narrated.

She says she only visited the child once and was chased away while her child looked on.
The mother also claims the social worker wrongfully accused her of “possibly maintaining herself by prostitution”, which she says is defamatory and untrue. With tears in her eyes, Gaoas showed New Era documents in which she declared the reason she did not care for the child was because she was not working.

“My child even fears to talk to me. The one time when I went to visit her at the orphanage, she didn’t want to be seen talking to me. Her last words to me were that she knew that I am her only mommy,” Gaoas said.

When contacted for comment, Jenette Theron from the Hope Centre said Gaoas did not want to follow the procedures of visiting the child.

“It is total lies, there are rules that we have for parents to visit because the children have to be prepared since some of them were previously abused and need preparation,” she said.

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