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Stranded pregnant Filipina finds adoptive home while waiting to give birth

04 September 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao
The pregnant Filipina was terminated before
she could inform her employer about her condition
A 26-year-old Filipina domestic helper who found out she’s pregnant after losing her job is stranded in Hong Kong due to the pandemic, but has found a warm adoptive home and family as she anticipates her baby’s birth this month.

Just a few months back, she was distressed by her sudden loss of employment and unexpected pregnancy that were compounded by her boyfriend’s refusal to recognize paternity, Alexandria said in a video story on the website of PathFinders Hong Kong.

A kind, supportive friend led the expectant mother to PathFinders, a nongovernmental organization that lends support to vulnerable migrant women and their children.

The NGO offered a shelter to Alexandria, who said her baby is due on Sept 27.

Alexandria said her contract was terminated by her employer after nearly one and a half years serving the household, but did not give the reason for her dismissal.

“It was my first time to work in Hong Kong. My employer didn’t know that I was pregnant. This is my first time to have a baby, so I didn’t know that I was pregnant,” Alexandria said.

She said it was only on Mar 3, when her monthly period was delayed, that she went to see a doctor for a checkup. The finding that she was pregnant jolted her.

Alexandria said she was too confused and didn’t know what to do. Initially, she didn’t tell her mother about her condition, afraid that it would make her mad.

But a friend advised her to tell her mother the truth, and was surprised by the outcome.

“So, I told my Mom and she said she was happy for me and for my baby,” Alexandria said.

Acceptance and forgiveness by her mother lifted Alexandria’s spirits. “I am happy and I think that the baby is a blessing,” she said.

Alexandria said she wanted to go back to the Philippines and give birth there, but she was prevented from doing so by the Covid-19 lockdown in the country.

PathFinders lecture to migrant mothers about their rights 

Kuma Chow, senior communications manager at the NGO, said Alexandria had obtained a recognizance paper from the Immigration Department so she could stay legally in Hong Kong while she couldn’t fly home due to the lockdown and her being too pregnant.

Except for the guarantee that they won’t get arrested for overstaying in Hong Kong, migrant mothers on recognizance still find the going tough as they are not eligible for public healthcare and are prohibited from taking up work.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

“Costs are top of their worries very often,” Chow said. “Generally, we help clients by referral to Equal Justice Hong Kong for legal assistance, including paternity claims or labor disputes.”

Chow said Alexandria participates in PathFinders’ educational workshops such as one on prenatal yoga and has a case officer assigned to follow her situation.

For now, Alexandria is focused on her impending motherhood and her eventual return home to her own family.

“Maybe after the lockdown, I can go back home and take care of my baby,” she said.

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