The reality is that there are very few barriers to setting up an orphanage in Thailand. Anyone can, and many people do, open an orphanage in and fill it with children from poor families. A simple google search finds countless websites from children’s homes who skillfully market the children’s personal stories and photographs to raise funds. On investigation children are often found to be misrepresented, their stores embellished, or even completely fabricated in order to boost income and to attract volunteers and their money.
Some websites selling volunteering holidays, and past volunteers writing blogs, write endearing stories about the hugs they received from the children as soon as they arrived. This is not a cause for celebration, this is a severe warning that these children are lacking the consistent love and good parenting that will help them to become stable and happy adults with a healthy fear of strangers and developed attachment skills.
Throughout SE Asia, research has repeatedly confirmed that poverty, and its consequences, are the main factor behind the large numbers of children who are entering children’s homes, despite having parents. The Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children were written due to international concern about the over use of children’s homes and the unnecessary separation of children from their families.
If you see or hear about a child in danger please contact:
Thai Government Child Protection hotline