Newborn girl left in parking lot of suburban Chicago church

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 25, 2011 12:45 PM
Newborn girl left in parking lot of suburban Chicago church

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Authorities in a Chicago suburb were searching on Monday for the mother of a newborn girl found abandoned over the weekend inside a recyclable grocery bag in a church parking lot.

Members of the Gospel Presbyterian Church in Schaumburg, Illinois were heading to their vehicles after services on Sunday afternoon when members of one family discovered a green canvas bag on the hood of their car, the Schaumburg Police Department said.

They looked inside, saw a teddy bear and towel, and turned the bag over to church officials, assuming another member of the congregation had left it behind.

But when other church members heard crying coming from inside the bag, they took another look and found a 7-pound baby girl tucked underneath the teddy bear and towel, Schaumburg Police said.

The baby, a few days old and in good health according to police, was transported to a local hospital for observation. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services will take custody of her once she has been released.

Illinois' so-called "safe haven" law allows parents to give up their newborn infants -- no questions asked -- if they feel they cannot provide for them.

But the law only provides parents with immunity from prosecution if the baby is left at a hospital, fire station or police station.

(Reporting by James B. Kelleher; Editing by Jerry Norton)