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November 11, 2009

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Homeless mother, 20, gets visit, dad's help

THE father of a 20-year-old homeless and jobless woman who delivered a girl on Saturday morning has visited the new mother and arranged a residence for her, hospital officials said yesterday.

She will be discharged tomorrow and both she and the baby are very healthy now, said officials at the No. 411 Hospital of People's Liberation Army.

The woman gave birth without knowing the father's identity, having only met the man in a bar and having a one-night stand with him. She left the next morning without asking for his name or contact information.

Neither of the woman's parents, who divorced five years ago and remarried respectively, gave a hand to her during her pregnancy. And at first they refused to visit her or the newborn in the hospital. However, many local residents visited the woman and donated necessities for her and the baby after the media reported her story.

Some people even wanted to adopt the baby, regardless of her dark skin color, which may be different enough to cause her some trouble in society as she grows up.

Officials at the Wujiaochang area in Yangpu District, where the woman's permanent residency is located, gave the woman 2,000 yuan (US$293) yesterday to help her settle down and promised to offer 400 yuan monthly subsidy.

Officials also made efforts to look for her father and mother and ask for their help in caring and supporting the woman.

Officials from Shanghai Youth League visited the woman on Monday with a lawyer and a psychological consultant.

Shen Ting, from the youth league's hotline 12355, which cooperates with the unexpected pregnancy hotline, said the facility will offer long-term legal and psychological guidance to her, who may face a lot of problems in taking care of the baby by herself or giving the custody to someone else.

"She hasn't made a decision on the baby and we won't push her to hurry," Shen said.

The hospital is behind the city's first hotline offering medical consultation and help for unexpected pregnancy.

It received the woman through the hotline 6587-6866.

Officials urged girls and young women to be smarter about safe sex and to call the hotline early in an unexpected pregnancy for help.


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