In a dramatic discovery, a newborn baby was found in the Maryland woods last Friday. The baby, discovered in Silver Spring by a man taking an evening walk, was naked and crying when discovered. The baby is now in stable condition and is in the care of pediatric doctors at a nearby hospital.
The baby was discovered after the man “went to investigate the sound and found a naked baby approximately ten feet from the sidewalk in the woods.” Doctors saw the baby shortly after the discovery and determined it had been born only hours earlier.
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The Montgomery County police shared in a statement on Saturday that the baby’s mom had been located and was admitted to a local hospital for unspecified treatment.
No charges have been filed against the mom as of this writing.
It is currently unclear whether the mother purposefully left the baby alone in the woods. Most states have what is called a Safe Haven Law, which allows a parent to leave a baby at certain locations, no questions asked.
In accordance with Maryland’s Safe Haven Law, you can legally leave a newborn at hospitals or police stations with no questions asked, so this event would not technically qualify as legal.
The Montgomery County Police Department shared further information about this case and Maryland’s Safe Haven laws on Facebook last week.
“Today at approximately 5:00 p.m.,” the MCPD says, “the Emergency Communications Center (911) received a call from a man who had been walking on the sidewalk in the 10000 block of Tenbrook Drive when he heard a baby crying. He went to investigate the sound and found a naked baby approximately ten feet from the sidewalk in the woods.”
It continues: “The female newborn was transported to a local hospital where she is in stable condition.”
The post concludes with more information about Safe Haven:
“In Maryland, no one ever has to abandon a newborn baby. Under the Safe Haven law, a distressed parent who is unable or unwilling to care for their infant can safely give up custody of their baby, no questions asked. Newborns can be left at hospitals or law enforcement stations, some of which are listed below (click link in release ). A parent (or another adult with the approval of the mother) has up to 10 days from the birth to invoke Safe Haven anonymously and safely leave a baby with a responsible adult at a designated location. A person who invokes Safe Haven is immune from civil liability or criminal prosecution provided the child is unharmed. If you have questions about Maryland’s Safe Haven law, call the Department of Human Resources at 800-332-6347 or your local department of social services.”
The investigation is ongoing.
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.
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