NEW YORK – A healthy, newborn baby was left at Saint Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church in Washington Heights on February 4 with a handwritten note by the mother saying “Please help I can’t have this baby I was raped and I’m a drug addict,” police sources told the New York Post on February 6.
A woman knocked on the church door and handed over the baby, the receptionist at the church told the Post. The receptionist told the Post that the baby “looked new. She was wet. She was a pretty baby. Very pretty.”
“The baby, believed to be about three hours old, was ‘in a bag wrapped in clothes,’ a police source said, the Post reported adding that the cops called the baby “Jane Doe.”
Taken to Columbia Presbyterian, the baby appeared to be healthy, the Post reported.
According to the Office of Child Protective Services, “New York State’s Abandoned Infant Protection Act allows a parent to abandon a newborn baby up to 30 days of age anonymously and without fear of prosecution — if the baby is abandoned in a safe manner.
“A parent is not guilty of a crime if the infant is left with an appropriate person or in a suitable location and the parent promptly notifies an appropriate person of the infant’s location. A hospital, staffed police or fire station are examples of safe and suitable choices.
“A person leaving an infant under this law is not required to give his or her name.”
“New York State first enacted the Abandoned Infant Protection Act in July 2000 to save the lives of unwanted, newborn infants. The law was amended in August 2010 to provide additional incentive for any person who is going to abandon a baby to do so in a manner that does not harm the baby. The amendments provide that parents who abandon their infant in a safe way, as prescribed by the law, will not be held criminally liable. The 2010 changes also increased the time frame in which an infant could be abandoned under the Act. Previously, an infant could be abandoned only in the first five days of its life; now the law applies to infants 30 days old or younger.”