The Hinrich Global Trade Leader Scholars from Hong Kong Baptist University take picture with Serrie Fung (first row, left) – Marketing and Communications Executive of Mother’s Choice in front of Mother’s Choice office – a house full of touching stories, where choices are respected and families are built. (From left to right; first row: Serrie, Phoebe, Chandler, Cathy; second row: Ha Ly, To Linh, Anna, Suri, Michael)
The Hinrich Global Trade Leader Scholars from Hong Kong Baptist University take picture with Serrie Fung (first row, left) – Marketing and Communications Executive of Mother’s Choice in front of Mother’s Choice office – a house full of touching stories, where choices are respected and families are built. (From left to right; first row: Serrie, Phoebe, Chandler, Cathy; second row: Ha Ly, To Linh, Anna, Suri, Michael).

Instead of crying for love and care as other kids, a 27-month-baby was tactile defensive, kicking and screaming when anybody touched him. He was left by his mother, transferred through two hospitals, one child care institution before coming to Mother’s Choice. A woman patiently took it upon herself to carry him around in a baby sling every day, holding and hugging him. Many months later, that little boy reached out to touch her for the first time.

That is the story 27 years ago. The boy, Jacob Lok Chi, is now non-verbal too, as the result of neglect in those early months. The woman is one of co-founders of Mother’s Choice, who then becomes his adoptive parent. Mother’s Choice is a non-profit organization, helping women facing pregnancy crisis and their children, including those need special cares like Lok Chi.

Unanticipated pregnancies and unsuccessful illegal abortions lead to many orphanage cases in Hong Kong every year

According to Mother’s Choice, back to 1987, a series of articles reported that approximately 35-40% of the hundreds of girls going to Shenzhen for late term abortions every week. Some could only be 12 years old. These girls could not afford a legal abortion in Hong Kong, or for some reasons they wanted to stay anonymous.

This situation unfortunately gets worse. A research from Bain & Company shows that approximately 6,880 crisis pregnancies happen each year in Hong Kong. Nearly 60% were unwed females, the majority of whom were from 12 years old to 25 years old.

These babies could have had a chance to live like others if their teen mothers had been given real options. Some children were born but lack of care, or had to wait long time to finally find their permanent adoptive families. Some with special needs like Lok Chi received no individualized care, possibly causing the serious problems later on.

Mother’s Choice is a place providing love and care without judgment for both young single girls and their innocent babies. This place shelters scared teen girls who have nowhere to go to when they face unanticipated pregnancies.

Caretakers here will help them go through difficult time of pregnancy, postnatal period and the transition into motherhood. At this moment, they are opened to the different options, whether the girls want to self-parent, or adoption.

Adoption is a part of Mother’s Choice’s services

This organization has helped a lot of kids be adopted and find their permanent families as soon as possible. Even though how great services Mother’s Choice can offer, how much care children receive, Mother’s Choice can hardly replace a home for them. Only a real family can give children an identity, a last name, a sense of belong, and a home.

The last scholar team packs up after selling out of products produced by disabled  Cambodian artisans.

Jacob Lok Chi (center) has found his new happy life with his adoptive parents.
Jacob Lok Chi (center) has found his new happy life with his adoptive parents.

Families come in all shapes and sizes. Real parents are those giving their kids unconditional love and care, not just genes and blood. The wall in Mother’s Choice’s place filled with many pictures of different adoptive families and their definitions of “adoption.” One is “Adoption is… love forever”.

One late Sunday afternoon, a boy was playing on the front yard with a caretaker. Visitors could hear the sound of joy and happiness in his voice. Children sometimes are taken to supermarket to enjoy some peaceful moments of a normal daily life. They are supposed to receive love and happiness from birth. But if they cannot have those lucky fates from the beginning, Mother’s Choice will help them relieve the pain and build new forever loving families.

Scholars’ comments after visiting Mother’s Choice

Suri said, “The time I saw a child’s eyes in Wee care (a group of children who has special needs), I felt their strong desire for respect, for attention, and for warm hearts.”

Chandler said, “It’s a house full of touching stories, where choices are respected and families are built.”

Michael said, “I feel happy that there is such a responsible organization to help those really young and unprepared mothers who are totally at sea and anxious about the future as well as their unfortunate children.”

Anna said, “I realized that love can change impossibilities into possibilities.”

Phoebe said, “Mother’s Choice rekindles the hope for numerous lives, and help build up sweet homes for a host of families.”

Ha Ly said, “Mother’s Choice has filled the gap of the unavailability of orientation and support service for unexpected young mothers in the society.”

About Mother’s Choice

Mother’s Choice, Hong Kong (Chinese: 母親的抉擇) is a grassroots non-profit organization in Hong Kong. It was founded in 1987 in response to rising crisis pregnancies in Hong Kong. The organization provides and promotes loving, nurturing care for babies and children needing permanent homes, and for single girls and their family facing crisis pregnancies. There are four centers providing various services to ease the pressure of unanticipated pregnancies with over 350 volunteers assisting in its operations. For more information, visit: http://www.motherschoice.org/.

About the Author – Tran To Linh

Tran To Linh

Tran To Linh is a 2013 Hinrich Global Trade Scholar from Vietnam pursuing a Masters in International Journalism Studies. She is passionate about marketing and international trade.