Most out-of-wedlock births are usually associated with early pregnancies among teen mothers.
These children are tagged by rough names such as ‘Bastards’ yet they are so innocent.
A number of people who are putting off marriage or living together feel abridged to have children and would be rude to call their children names.
In most African cultures especially in Rwanda it’s mostly perceived as unacceptable for a woman to give birth before they are married. However the concept is changing with modernity.
In some societies a young woman is not considered an attractive marriage candidate until she has proven her fertility by bearing one or more children.
In other societies once a woman gives birth before she gets married, it’s hard to find a suitor; worse still other societies, disowned women who became pregnant before marriage.
Richard Gasana, a Pastor and a marriage counselor at Christian Life Assembly (CLA), Nyarutarama, said there is no need of shifting a parent’s blame to the children.
“Children are a gift from God and according to my understanding it’s not good to call them rude names,” Gasana said.
He quotes Rick Warren’s book ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ where Day 2 states, “There are legitimate parents but there is nothing like legitimate children.”
“Parents should aim at protecting their children from making wrong choices and support them in life,” adds Gasana.
Victimizing children because of what their parents did is like speaking into their souls and planting the seed of hatred.
According to Serge Nzabonimana, the Advisor to the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, all children should be treated the same.
“Parents have to provide a stable home for their children. It should not depend on whether they are married or not. Support from both parents is always important for a child’s moral, emotional and psychological growth,” says Nzabonimana.
“It is not right when a parent‘s marital status is what defines their children. A child should be respected and society has no right to treat children born out of wedlock negatively,” he adds.