General News of Monday, 25 June 2018
A woman whose baby was allegedly stolen and sold by two officials of the Social Welfare Department in Kumasi is demanding custody of her child.
Twenty-two year old Deborah Tayeng alleges the foster parents who supposedly bought the child are still keeping her, three months after the suspects were arrested.
This is contrary to claim by police they have handed the baby to the Social Welfare Department.
Evelyn Jemima Alangeah and Samuel Obeng Afriyie admitted to selling the baby to an unnamed couple for over GHS16, 000 last year.
They reportedly stole the baby girl from a maternity home where the mother, Deborah Tayeng, was delivered. They were arrested in March this year by the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region and granted bail pending electronic distribution of the case for prosecution.
Deborah told Joy News' Ohemeng Tawiah she has had to endure sleepless nights over the delay in reuniting with the baby.
"I want to see my baby. I cry always," she pleaded.
Deborah sought support from the Social Welfare Department's Regional Office last year after her boyfriend abandoned her with the pregnancy.
The social worker took her to a private maternity home in Kumasi and stole the baby the day it was born.
She reportedly told the woman her sick baby had been referred to a nearby hospital for further observation after it was born with rashes on the neck.
However, investigations by the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit revealed, Evelyn had then sent the baby to the Kumasi Children’s Home and later sold her to a couple who had applied to adopt a baby at the department, for GHS16,500.
Police say Evelyn after selling the day-old baby, later took the mother to Tewobabi in Kenyasi near Kumasi, where she lived with her for two months.
Mother of the child, Deborah Tayeng says she was never asked to complete or endorse a form for the adoption of her baby by the two social welfare senior officials.
Deborah recounted she had questioned Probation Officer, Evelyn Jemima Alangeah’s decision to send her to a private maternity home to be delivered of the baby after they told her she would be taken to Manhyia Hospital.
"I heard the cry of the baby upon delivery. The nurse picked the baby up and handed it over to Evelyn [Alangeah]. She [nurse] came in later to ask if I took some medication in an attempt to abort the pregnancy.
"When I said no, she told me the baby had breathing difficulty. The nurse said she needed care elsewhere. She later asked Evelyn to take it to hospital. Evelyn suggested I pray for the child’s survival. She [Evelyn] later returned with a man to tell me my baby was dead," she recounted
Deborah, who has been doing menial jobs for survival says she has been dreaming of the child weeks after it was declared dead.
"I have been crying since my discharge from the maternity home. I have never believed the baby was dead, and I often dream of her. Shedding tears over the baby became part of me, though Evelyn didn't like it," she said.
Deborah's insistence has received the backing of her family which indicts police for allowing the foster family to keep the baby.
Spokesperson, Felix Kunkpe Kyemuo says the family is unhappy "the police are not trying to reason with us" in the release of the baby at the time all parties [suspects] have admitted wrongdoing.
He says the family wants to take custody of the baby even before prosecution of the suspects starts.
"Now we feel that as we have come up as a family, the child should be handed over to us whilst the proceedings follow," he said.