A man in Italy discovered a newborn baby inside a garbage bag this week, placed in front of the garbage bins.
“I was passing in front of the butcher’s shop, there were no cars parked,” he told the Agi agency, “and I saw a garbage bag. I approached to throw it in the bins nearby. Unfortunately, people often leave the garbage here in front of me…. [A]t that point I heard moans. I turned on the light of the phone because this point is dark and as soon as I opened the bag — a child. It was a child.”
The baby boy looked like he had just been born. He was wrapped in a blanket and was covered in blood. He was taken to the neonatal intensive care unit at John Paul II Hospital as a precaution but is reportedly doing well. The health care workers named him Vittorio Fortunato.
“I won’t forget it all my life,” said the man who rescued the baby. “They told me the baby is fine. I’m happy. Who knows if she [the mother] chose him and how much she must have felt alone, now that it is also possible to entrust a child to the hospital. They didn’t throw it in the garbage cans, maybe they knew that someone would come by at that time.”
Italy has a law allowing mothers to leave their newborns at the hospital anonymously. The baby will receive assistance and legal protections and the mother’s name will remain a secret and can even be left off of the birth certificate. The child will then be placed for adoption.
Twenty local families have already expressed interest in fostering baby Vittorio. Social services are ensuring he is cared for and is awaiting instruction from the court. Once he is discharged from the hospital, temporary custody can be determined.
Similar laws in the United States also allow women to leave their babies at specific locations including police stations, fire departments, and hospitals, no questions asked. The hope is that these options will save babies from abandonment and death.
Editor’s Note: Learn more about Safe Havens in the U.S. by visiting National Safe Haven Alliance.
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