Sending Baby Home: Peace of Mind for Migrant Moms in Taiwan


During the Muslim fasting month, many Indonesian migrant workers take leave from factories to return home and celebrate Eid al-Fitr with their families.

Even for postpartum working migrant mothers like Shanti, they take advantage of this time to entrust their babies to their husbands and bring them back to Indonesia to be cared for by family members. Shanti, who stayed at the Masses Shelter for Pregnant Migrant Workers, is one of them.

bby n family

Shanti had worked in the Middle East for 10 years and had a son in Indonesia. After marrying her current husband, they decided to work together in Taiwan. Initially thrilled about having a baby, they were unaware that migrant workers could legally give birth in Taiwan. Faced with the huge broker fees still unpaid, Shanti felt trapped between running away and having an abortion. In panic, she took abortion pills purchased online, but the child not only survived but also suffered health problems.

Fortunately, a fellow migrant mother who had stayed at the Masses Shelter provided Shanti with our contact information, and she eventually came to the shelter. After five months, she successfully gave birth to a lovely baby boy named Otong.

Otong, whose nickname means "little baby" in the Javanese language of Indonesia, fell ill and was admitted to the intensive care unit before the Lunar New Year, making it a difficult time for Shanti and her husband. Thankfully, everything improved, and Otong recovered his cheerful smile and spirit.

bby n mom

Although Shanti expressed that she could focus more on work once her child returned to Indonesia with her husband, the day Otong left, she looked at the empty baby bottle and baby supplies, feeling silent all day. Separation from loved ones is a heartbreaking experience for many migrant workers, but they continue to strive for their families' sake and to protect them while working hard in a foreign land.

The shelter serves as a haven for migrant mothers, ensuring their safe childbirth and supporting them in finding their next job in Taiwan. We sincerely hope that every migrant parent striving to protect their family can have hope for a better future. The Shelter will continue to support these hardworking migrant workers in their endeavors.