Hard for maids to hide pregnancy

SINGAPORE - Few maids manage to hide their pregnancies and sail through their multiple medical check-ups without being detected, says Ms Carene Chin, the managing director of maid agency Homekeeper, which is one of the largest players here.

The case of a 28-year-old Indonesian maid who gave birth before being caught is considered "very extreme" and is an "isolated incident", she said.

Ms Chin, who has been in the industry for two decades, said: "Maids waiting to come to Singapore are required to do a medical check-up. Right before they are scheduled to come here, they are required to do a pregnancy test.

"When they finally arrive, they will have to go through another medical check-up, which includes a pregnancy test."

She said that maids, while waiting for the selection process, are also advised by their training centres to take "necessary precautions" to avoid abortion or unwanted pregnancy.

Once a maid begins working for her employer, she is required to go for a medical check-up, which includes a pregnancy test, every six months.

In the Indonesian maid's case, her employer had taken her for a medical check-up in June.

Commenting on the case, Ms Chin said: "If the maid really wanted to hide the pregnancy, there are ways she can cheat. She could have swopped her urine sample when she went for her pregnancy test."

Maids who are found to be pregnant or have given birth while working here will be sent home.

Reiterating that such cases are rare, she said: "Most of them come to Singapore with the right intention and mindset - to work so they can earn money to send home."

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