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Baby Exposed to AIDS Taken In by Monastery

January 14, 1987|Associated Press

ANNAPOLIS, Calif. — An abandoned baby girl born with an apparent AIDS infection has found a home at a Roman Catholic monastery.

"I think the problem of where to place unwanted babies with AIDS is going to be ever growing," Brother Tolbert McCarroll said in announcing that the Starcross Monastery is caring for its first AIDS baby.

"I think this whole phenomenon is going to move a whole lot faster now," McCarroll said. "We must move from hysteria to compassion. Northern California had better get ready."

The 5-month-old baby has been named Michelle, weighs nine pounds and is "quite a scrapper," he said Monday.

The fact that the child is carrying the AIDS antibody does not necessarily mean she will develop the fatal disease.

The 110-acre monastery, about 75 miles north of Santa Rosa, received nationwide publicity last year when it unveiled plans to provide a foster home for unwanted children afflicted with acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

"Her mother is a heroin addict who was supporting her habit by prostitution," McCarroll said of the infant. The mother, in her 30s, has AIDS.

McCarroll, who would not say from where in Northern California the child came, said Michelle was born prematurely and with drug withdrawal symptoms.

Michelle is "absolutely adorable," said Sister Marti, another member of the religious community. "She talks and coos and smiles. She doesn't cry often at all. She's delightful."

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