Public donations poured in for baby Cristiano. Photo posted on Facebook by the police officer who found the baby
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat urged Malta to change its “masculinist” mentality, which he warned reared its ugly head when a baby was found abandoned in Buġibba last Friday.
“I cannot understand why so much of the public criticism was aired solely at the baby’s mother and not at his father,” Muscat said in a brief interview on ONE Radio. “Responsibility for child-raising lies with both parents and we should ingrain these values in our boys from a young age.”
The Prime Minister also urged the public not to judge the baby’s parents, arguing that no one yet knows what had led them to take such a drastic decision.
“Empathy must reign supreme and we must try and understand what these people were going through and why they took this decision,” he said. “Instead of instantly criminalising these people, we must find out how society can help them.”
The baby boy, who magistrate Joe Mifsud has named Cristiano after the Portuguese footballer, is currently in the custody of Aġenzija Appoġġ, the state’s social welfare agency. He is being cared for at Mater Dei and is reportedly in good health.
Muscat said he felt a sense of national pride when he saw the outpouring of requests from the public to adopt the baby.
“I don’t think this thought [of adoption] failed to pass through the heads of a single family in Malta and it is things like this that make me truly proud to be Maltese,” he said. “Sometimes we allow sensationalism to divert our attention from positive points.”