Jakarta (ANTARA) - Lack of preparedness for raising a family likely led a woman from Bekasi, West Java, to sell her baby, the National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN) has said.

"I think it is just a (part of the) phenomenon of lack of preparation (among couples for raising a family). Then the incident took place," BKKBN Head Hasto Wardoyo observed here on Friday.

He said he suspected that the incident involving the sale of an infant by its family in Bekasi was caused due to the family not being mentally and financially prepared to take care of it, as evidenced by the mother's debt that amounted to millions of rupiah.

Other possible causes include lack of thorough preparation for parenthood and not realizing that children are precious things, or perhaps the baby was unplanned, he added.

"Family planning does not mean we have to put on contraceptives, no. Rather, family planning is a family which is planned, so the conception too is also planned. But now? There is still unwanted pregnancies, among us there is still more than 10 percent of it, to the point such incidents (selling of a baby) happened," he pointed out.

This issue is impeding the government's progress in ensuring prosperous Indonesian families, he said.

In order to create more planned families, the board is pursuing efforts such as providing education on marriage preparation via social media and guidance to prospective spouses through family planning teams, he informed.

The board is also collaborating with the Religious Affairs Ministry to assist prospective couples and offer classes before their wedding as an alternative and accessible educational service for all couples and young families who require further information, he added.

Presidential Regulation Number 72 of 2021 about stunting reduction, which was issued to outline policies for prospective couples, states that teenagers and brides and grooms must be the targets of intervention measures.

On July 18, 2023, the media reported that HI (29), a housewife from Bekasi, West Java, sold off her fourth child for Rp300 million (US$20 thousand) to pay off her debt.

The transaction took place in Semarang, and the baby was bought by a woman from Demak, Central Java. The baby's biological mother admitted to her actions and surrendered herself to the Semarang Police Department.

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Translator: Hreeloita Dharma S, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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