OAKLAND – Oakland police searching for the parents of an abandoned newborn baby girl said they will run out of leads unless someone who knows the mother steps forward.
The infant was just 2 to 3 hours old when she was discovered lying on a residential lawn in the 1500 block of 22nd Avenue at 2:51 a.m. Sunday.
The homeowners said they found the crying newborn immediately after she was dropped off, and were alerted of the child by sounds of someone trespassing on their property. The baby girl, who was covered in placenta with her umbilical cord still attached, was wrapped in a plastic garbage bag.
The dark-haired, 6-pound girl, suspected to be either white or Hispanic, was taken to Children's Hospital Oakland where she was treated for dehydration and is today listed in stable condition. A quick response by paramedics and the family who found her is credited with saving her life.
Once the baby requires no further medical attention, she is expected to be handed over to Alameda County Child Protective Service and will likely be placed in foster care.
Police spokesman George Phillips said today that investigators scoured the area near the abandonment, and have probed hospitals for clues that could lead them to the baby's mother or father, but so far nothing has turned up.
“The only thing we can do is appeal to people who possibly know the mother,'' Phillips said. “We're hoping they'll step forward and do the right thing.''
If found, whoever abandoned the newborn could face several felony charges, including child endangerment.
Under a 2000 state law, the parents could have avoided any criminal prosecution by turning the infant over to medical professionals. The Newborn Abandonment Law allows parents to abandon their babies at any California health care facility anonymously within 72 hours of the birth. They can have the baby back if they change their minds within 48 hours.