The New York Times has published a slideshow on its website about the abandonment of children in Greece entitled “Greece’s Austerity Orphans”, presenting photographs taken at two Greek hospitals during the ongoing Greek economic crisis.
The photographer visited two public hospitals in Athens: Alexandra general hospital and the Elena Venizelou maternity hospital to document the increasing problem of child abandonment.
The harsh economic conditions in Greece for the past few years have forced many parents to abandon or give away their babies, as they are unable to provide for them. According to the article, in Elena Venizelou hospital, abandoned children have tripled from 2010 to 2013.
According to the story, the condition in the hospitals is almost awful and unacceptable. The babies are hosted for months or sometimes even years in crowded hospital rooms before being transferred to orphanages. Many healthy babies also share the same room with sick ones due to lack of space.
Moreover, because of the staff cuts, the hospitals are usually understaffed and as a result, the nurses have little time to take care of the babies, who receive little physical and emotional stimulation.
Adoption in Greece is also an extremely exhausting and time-consuming procedure. Therefore, the abandoned babies are staying in packed orphanages and the couples are waiting for up to five years in order for the social services to finalize the adoption.
Take a look at the photos here.