Human Interest

Florida couple adopts baby who was abandoned in the woods

A baby girl found abandoned in the woods just one hour after her birth may have been all alone in the world when she was found, but a new family has just opened their hearts and welcomed her home.  

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO), the now 10-month-old baby girl has a loving home with her new parents. Although they did not want their names published, their story and happy photos of the family were shared on Facebook. 

“We have an exciting update to share with you,” said the PCSO in their Facebook post. “Nearly one year ago, on January 28th, at about 1:47 in the morning, PCSO deputies rescued an abandoned newborn baby girl in Mulberry. […] Despite an extensive effort by PCSO detectives, the girl’s mother has never been located or identified. […] Fast forward ten months and one day–the baby girl has officially been adopted.”

“We are thrilled to share with you these photos from this morning of this precious angel with her new mom and dad, along with PCSO’s Detective Green and Sgt. Ryan. Mom & Dad wish to keep their names from being published,” the PCSO wrote, “but they allowed us to share these photos with everyone who followed this child’s story and prayed for her well-being.”

The baby girl was found earlier this year in the woods near a trailer park when a neighbor heard cries of what she thought was a cat. As Live Action News reported, the neighbor was shocked to discover a healthy newborn baby girl wrapped in a blanket, placenta still attached. Polk County Sheriff officials conducted an extensive search involving drones, K9 units, and knocking on doors at a nearby trailer park, but despite their best efforts the baby girl’s mother was never found.  

Although Florida, like every state in the U.S., has a Safe Haven law that protects mothers who safely leave their babies with first responders at certain locations such as a hospital or fire station, reports of mothers who give birth clandestinely and dispose of their living infants in alleys, forests, or trash receptacles to die come to light every year.

“You can literally walk up, hand that baby to a firefighter, and drive off, and never disclose who you are, and there is no criminal liability to that,” Sheriff Grady Judd said. 

And in fact, before the baby girl was found, she could have been one of those tragic statistics as outside temperatures were in the low 50s. “It was by the Grace of God that we found the abandoned baby girl when we did,” said Judd at the time she was found, “before exposure to the cold or any animals caused her any harm. She was left in an extremely vulnerable condition, but she’s a strong little girl, and it looks like she’s doing great.” 

Safe Haven laws exist to help protect desperate parents and their babies when they might otherwise leave or surrender them in unsafe situations. Another option for mothers in dire straits are Safe Haven Baby Boxes – temperature controlled boxes in safe locations where a mother can legally and anonymously leave her baby for paramedics or first responders to receive immediate medical attention. However, the baby was left about two hours away from Florida’s only Safe Haven Baby Box

There are currently 185 active baby boxes in the United States, according to the Safe Haven Baby Box website.

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