JK ROWLING has said she was so overcome with emotion during a visit to an eastern European orphanage that her instinct was to take home a baby girl she saw there.
The Harry Potter author, whose charity Lumos has invested millions of pounds in building alternative children’s homes, said she was struck by the child’s “cold and frightening” surroundings, which she said were like a prison.
In an interview to highlight the plight of a million children in government institutions in eastern European countries such as Moldova, Romania, the Czech Republic and Ukraine, the Edinburgh-based author said: “I’m an emotional person. I struggle with that a lot in this kind of situation.
“There was one little baby, a girl, and I was standing at this cot and I just thought, ‘I will take her’. It was irrational but that’s your human response. There was no earthly way I could take this baby home but that is your most powerful reaction. You think as a mother, ‘I will save this baby, this one baby’.”
Instead, she left the child in her cot, but has spent millions of pounds in a bid to reform and close unsuitable state-run orphanages and open a string of replacement homes. In a fortnight, Rowling will host an event at Warner Bros in Hertfordshire, where the Harry Potter films were made, to highlight the continuing plight of Europe’s forgotten children. The writer is also planning to expand the work of the children’s charity to Britain.