Historically it is not unusual to find situations where a parent or couple has abandoned children they could not support to government authorities. These kids were terms orphans, although they weren’t technically. Charities cared for them, and in many cases exported them to other areas of the country, as in the orphan trains from New York City.
My father’s mother died when he was four years old and the oldest of three boys. It was during the depression and he could easily have been abandoned except that the extended family provided him with more than twenty sets of aunts and uncles who took turns taking in the boys until their dad remarried a few years later. Too many families don’t have that kind of support anymore and nine kids can be overwhelming to even a couple in a good situation.
I only hope the kids can be kept together.
My son's birth-mother did just that, in Russia. He was delivered at home, brought immediately to a hospital as he was 4-6 weeks premature, and she never saw him again.