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Fri, Aug 20, 2010
The New Paper
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'Nobody's child' has everybody worried ...except her own mother
by Amanda Yong

A LITTLE girl has been passed from one aunty to another, her life torn and tossed about like an unwanted rag doll.

Her mother left her with an 18-year-old half-sister, who left her in the care of a maid, who has returned to the Philippines.

Now the six-year-old - we will call her Sarah - has been left with an aunt, who hopes someone will take the girl off her hands.

The aunt is her mother's stepsister.

When will it end?

Nobody knows.

Does anyone care? Yes, it seems: Our readers, social workers, everyone.

Except her mum.

We are not using their real names as a minor is involved.

Last Friday, the front page headline in this newspaper read: NOBODY'S CHILD.

Today, she is nobody's child - again.

Her mother, Kate, a 27-year-old pub manager, had left her with the 18-year-old in February, promising to take her back the next day.

The mother has not been seen since - except on her Facebook account, where she is seen enjoying herself with friends.

The girl was left in the hands of her 18-year-old aunt (we will call her Jane) and a maid who had been hired to take care of Jane's grandmother.

They all lived in a two-room flat near Balestier.

Jane's mother, 52, is in jail for sniffing glue and will be released only in December.

Since Jane's grandmother died three weeks ago, the maid has left the family - so Sarah has been left with another aunt, Mary, a 34-year-old customer service officer living in Ang Mo Kio.

Have the sudden changes affected the girl?

Yes, because this is the first time that Sarah, who was born out of wedlock, has not seen or heard from her mother for so long, said Mary in an interview with The New Paper yesterday afternoon.

The New Paper reported previously that in the beginning, Sarah asked constantly for her mother.

We have also tried to contact Jane several times since last Thursday, but her mobile phone was switched off each time.

Moved out after arrest
The front door and windows of Jane's flat were shut when The New Paper was there yesterday.

A neighbour said the whole family had moved out after Jane's arrest.

Said the neighbour: "She was taken (to jail) last week because she (was suspected of helping) a friend who was working for a loan shark.

"The family couldn't raise the $15,000 bail amount so she has to stay (in custody)."

Mary said Jane had been arrested in the middle of last week for "scribbling" on the door of a debtor's flat. She will be charged next week.

The little girl thinks Jane is staying with friends because that is what Mary has been telling her.

"They're very close and she calls (Jane) daddy," Mary said. "(Jane) asked her to address her as 'daddy' because she's butch," Mary claimed.

But the one whom Sarah will miss most is the Filipina maid who has been looking after her since early this year, said Mary.

After Jane's arrest, Sarah stayed on with the maid until Mary took her to her flat on Monday night.

The maid returned to the Philippines yesterday.

"She's very used to it, people going in and out of her life. She has to be," said Mary.
But, she added: "She's a compulsive liar. It's her way of surviving."

Now, Mary's maid looks after Mary's two children and Sarah when Mary is at work.
But Mary said that this is an arrangement that cannot last as there is no way she can continue to care for Sarah in the long term.

"I just finalised my divorce and I have two children, one in Primary 6 and one in Primary 4," she said. "And my job (situation) is not stable."


Girl's mum leaves daughter in lurch
Readers come forward to offer help

readers' comments
'Cos these adults still think they are kids themselves.
Posted by AcCeSsDeNiEd on Fri, 20 Aug 2010 at 20:00 PM
Mum and half-sister in jail. Aunt going thru divorce. Now Sarah is a compulsive liar. Look at what broken families can do to future generation of children. Now it is very difficult to change Sarah's behaviour and I wouldn't be surprised if Sarah will grow up to perpetuate this cycle into future generations. And mind you, there are so many of such families around. Can adults please act like adults? What's wrong with our society?
Posted by OrdinaryCitizen on Fri, 20 Aug 2010 at 13:08 PM

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