Wed, Jan 16, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Boy to go to foster family after return

Staff writer, with CNA

A young Amis boy from Taitung who was abandoned in northern Thailand by his mother in 2010 will be taken care of by an adoptive family after he returns to Taiwan, the Taitung County Government said yesterday.

The boy, known as “Little Ma” (小馬), will first meet with his grandfather and his mother, county officials said. After that, officials will arrange a foster family for the seven-year-old boy, who reportedly can only speak Thai and a Thai hilltribe language.

He will be taught both Amis and Mandarin Chinese, the county officials said. The government will later assess whether to send the boy to an elementary school, they added.

The county government decided to have “Little Ma” learn his native tongue with an adoptive family because his father’s whereabouts are unknown, his mother is mentally unstable and his grandfather has financial difficulties, said Hsin Chin-hsiang (辛進祥), head of the county’s Social Welfare Department.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said it would handle all arrangements prior to the return of the boy, who has overstayed his Thai visa and the Taitung County Government will take over once the boy is back.

The ministry last week said officials had gone to a village in Chiang Rai Province to help repatriate the boy, who has been living there since October last year.

According to the ministry, the boy’s mother took him to Thailand to reunite with her Thai boyfriend in March 2010. She returned to Taiwan after her Thai visa expired, but without her son, who ended up being taken care of by villagers.

The boy’s mother was found to have mental issues after returning to her tribe in Taitung and later moved to Hsinchu to stay with her mother. The boy’s grandfather and local community were hoping that he could return to Taitung.

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