The Pattaya Orphanage

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In front of the main orphanage building.
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General Description

The Pattaya Orphanage provides a home for boys and girls from birth up to the time they are ready to go out into the world on their own. In some cases this might be upon completion of secondary school, while in others in can mean a university or college education.

The objective of the Orphanage is to act as a normal home for it's boys and girls. It provides them with the full support and counseling that would ideally have been received from good parents.

    The children at the home arrive through different ways
  • Children formally placed in care for adoption
  • Abandoned babies
  • Children placed in temporary care

There are approximately 170 children in the care of the Orphanage at any one time. Their ages ranges from a few days to young adults studying at a University. Only babies and toddlers under three years of age have good prospects of being adopted and approximately thirty such placements are arranged each year. Under Thai law, only children who have all the necessary documentation can be offered for adoption. Some children do not have that documentation and the Orphanage becomes their home.

In the early days of the Orphanage, there was a high proportion of abandoned babies. In addition, problems with parents who placed their children with the Orphanage in temporary care and then subsequently disappeared were common. These two groups of children could not be adopted.

Improvements in the standards of social work at hospitals and in national law have had a significant good effect. Now parents who place their children in temporary care must sign a document that if the rent does not return to visit the baby within one year, the baby can be adopted.

When the Orphanage was founded by the Redemptorists in 1970, it was initially to take care of the abandoned babies that were brought to him. As word spread, the number of children began to increase. Eventually the work at the Orphanage took on all aspects of a normal Orphanage.

    Currently the Orphanage operates a number of programs to support the long term care of it's children
  • Adoption Programs
  • Foster care Programs
  • Sponsorship Programs

STAFFING

A group of nuns take care of day to day operations. There are full time nursing staff. In addition the Orphanage has instituted a rotating pool of volunteers who assist in taking care of the children.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the Pattaya Orphanage.

We pride ourselves in what we have done to make this Orphanage a wonderful home for children.

Many people ask "how do the children get here"? It's a hard question to answer because they come here for various reasons. We have children whose parents died, and the relatives were too poor to raise the child, or did not want the child. There are other cases where the child was given to its grandmother, who felt she was too old to take good care of the child. So the child was brought here. Whatever the reason, we do the best we can to make sure the child gets nourishing food, a good education, and lots of love.

We can truthfully say that our orphans are most probably better off, in a certain sense, and have more opportunities than the average Thai child. Of course, nothing can take the place of real parents....but we do try.

At times, a child is temporarily placed in our care while the mother or father get back on their feet. We have to be careful about this because sometimes the person bringing the child has no intention of returning for the child. Therefore, for the future of the child, we have the mother or guardian sign a form that the child is in our care only temporarily. We also ask for the birth certificate and house registration. In Thailand, these documents are necessary to enter schools and in applying for a government identification card (I.D.).

We have children of all ages. Babies hardly a few days old up to university students. Some people ask "when do the children have to leave the Orphanage?" Actually we do not have any set time when an orphan can leave the Orphanage. A child can stay as long as he/she wants. We make every effort possible to convince the children of the importance of education. But young people are young people, and they have their own mind. Some want to stop schooling when they are 17 or 18 years old, in order to get a job and earn money. We try to convince them to continue their education, or at least go to a vocational school and learn a trade. Most choose the latter.

We do not make an effort to convert the children to Christianity. Most the children in the Orphanage are Buddhist. However we do not hide our own religion. When they get older and ask about Christianity, we answer their questions as best we can. No child is 'automatically' made a Christian just because he/she is under our care.

The Pattaya Orphanage also has an adoption program. The number of children adopted out to families varies year to year. We work closely with the Thai Public Welfare in all adoption cases. The procedure to adopt is rather long. There is a surplus of families who want to adopt, and a shortage of children to be adopted.

The following documents are required for a foreign family to adopt. First of all, the prospective adopting parents must send us a formal letter signed by both the husband and wife. This letter must say why they want to adopt, and what age and gender they would prefer. After receiving that letter, we open their case in our files. In the meantime, they must make a portfolio containing pictures of themselves (showing head and shoulders), and photographs of the exterior and interior of their home.

Other documents needed are, copies of their marriage certificate, a document declaring their assets, two letters of recommendation, medical documentation showing health of prospective parents, a statement by government or other competent authority stating the applicants are legally qualified to adopt a child, a document from the couple's immigration department stating the adopted child will be permitted to immigrate, and of course, a home study done by an agency approved for inter-country adoption. Each and every documentation in the portfolio must be certified by the Thai Embassy or Consulate.

There is an official government form which the prospective parents must fill out. The complete list of documents needed for adoption and the official government form, may be requested from the Orphanage.

Some of the children we receive into the Orphanage are lacking some documentation such as a birth certificate or a signed mother's release. As a consequence, adoption for these children is very difficult.

The Orphanage is staffed by three Catholic nuns who belong to a local Thai religious group call the "Daughters of the Cross". Khun Suwana and the nuns serve as the house mothers and take care of the daily routines of getting the children off to school, outings, the purchase of things needed for the running of the Orphanage, etc. Fr. Raymond Brennan acts as the director of the Orphanage, assisted by Fr. Michael Picharn.

The Orphanage is an official foundation, approved by the Thai Government. There is a Board of Directors, headed by the local Bishop. The cost of running the orphanage is rather high because of three factors. (1) The cost of food, (2) the cost of salaries, and (3) the cost of education. To off-set these costs we have a sponsorship program. The cost of each orphan is about US$ 5.00 a day. Those things which a mother and father freely do for their child, must be done by paid workers in the Orphanage.

The Orphanage encourages people to sponsor a particular child from our home. Sponsorship can be arranged with either Fr. Brennan or Fr. Picharn.

The cost of a sponsorship is around US$ 5.00 per day.

Visitors are welcome during the day. If you are sponsoring a child, you may take the child, accompanied by another older orphan, out to lunch or for a swim.

The children enjoy this very much. The giving of expensive gifts to a particular child is discouraged.

Some people do not wish to sponsor, but would rather give a straight donation to the Orphanage. The Orphanage has no source of income except the free will donations from people who wish to help the children.

The Orphanage encourages the children in the arts. As an example, we have a modern music band and a traditional Thai music band. We have computer instruction for the children of all ages, taught by the handicapped students at our nearby Vocational School. Sporting activities consist in tennis, basketball, football, badminton, kick ball, Ping-Pong, and just about anything else that can be enjoyed by youths who never get tired.

The Orphanage has no school. We prefer to send the orphans to outside schools. Most go to government schools, the more gifted ones go to private schools. We decided at the beginning of the Orphanage that it was better for the development of the orphans that they should attend outside schools. That way they get to meet new friends, and get a taste of the normal life of an ordinary child. As can be expected, some of our children do marvelously well in school, but we also have the ones who do not do well in school. For the latter group, we know it does not mean they will be a failure in life. In fact, the opposite may occur. We encourage those who are not academically inclined to take vocational training to learn a professional trade.

There is no time when an orphan must leave the orphanage. They may stay as long as they want. For those who do leave and get a job, we support them for the first month until they get their first salary. That would mean we pay the first months rent for a room and give the youth money to buy food and other support until he/she receives their first salary. Our young people living on their own outside the Orphanage, often come back for a visit. They are always welcome. This was their home. They can and do feel free to join us for a meal, meet old friends, or bring a treat for the younger orphans..

Thank you for your interest in our Orphanage Home. If you have any questions, we will be glad to answer them for you. Send Email


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