Mother of abandoned baby comes forward

By BROOKE STEVENSON
Sunday Times Newspapers

 

WYANDOTTE — Police now know the identity of the woman who left her newborn baby at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital Jan. 28.

 

The woman, whose name and age are not being released, left her infant daughter wrapped in a blanket inside a public bathroom sink at the hospital about 2 p.m. Jan. 29. The baby was found shortly after.
Police say the baby is less than two weeks old and appears to be in good health. She has been turned over to Wayne County Child Protective Services.

 

Since the incident police have received phone calls from people giving tips and others asking to adopt the baby. One tip led police to Howell last weekend, but proved to be of no avail.

 

Tuesday night police received a call from the woman, who wished to come forward.

 

Police are not seeking legal action against the mother, and simply want health and background information about the baby, Detective Lt. Bob Heck said.

 

Under Michigan’s safe haven law, a parent has the right to relinquish custody to an infant 72 hours old or younger at a hospital, police or fire station, with no questions asked. However, the law does stipulate that the parent must give the child to personnel at one of those entities.

 

“She complied with about 85 percent of the law,” Heck said. “She just didn’t comply with the parts of the law that protected her rights.”

 

He said the law requires the receiver of the child to at least get some information, such as the rights of the father and basic health backgrounds.

 

“(She was left) not in the best conditions, in a public bathroom sink,” Heck said, “but if you think about it, it is kind of like a cradle.

 

“Who knows what she was thinking in that situation? She was probably scared, and I believe she did what she thought was right in the situation.”

 

He added that a lot of young women in the same situation don’t know their rights.

 

The parents now have 28 days to petition the court to regain custody.

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