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Orange County

Trash-Bin Newborn Is Stealing Hearts

September 02, 2004|Mai Tran | Times Staff Writer

A newborn left to die in a San Juan Capistrano trash bin and rescued in good condition will be placed with foster parents once he is released from the hospital, officials said Wednesday.

Known only as Baby John Doe, he is healthy and "doing very well" since Tuesday's rescue, said Denise Almazan, spokeswoman for Children's Hospital at Mission in Mission Viejo.

The hospital said it received about 100 calls Wednesday from people who offered to adopt or serve as foster parent for the infant. The Orange County Social Services Agency already has 31 approved families on a waiting list for adoption or foster care, making them the first candidates.

Almazan said the hospital is not accepting donations for the baby because "he's got everything he needs."

The hours-old boy, found in a trash bag with his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, and a second trash bag tied tightly also around his neck, was discovered Tuesday morning in a trash bin at an apartment complex on Paseo Carolina, not far from City Hall.

Evitalia Garcia, 71, visiting from Mexico City, said she heard the baby's cries while taking a shortcut across town to her daughter's home. She took the 6-pound, 3-ounce baby out of the bin, removed both trash bags and asked neighbors to call for help.

"How could someone throw a baby away?" Garcia said Tuesday.

Authorities said Wednesday they were still searching for the boy's mother, who apparently had left behind blood-soaked pajamas in the outer trash bag containing the newborn. She could face attempted-murder charges, said Jim Amormino, spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

It was unclear how long Baby John Doe would stay at the hospital, but when he is released, he will be placed immediately with foster parents while the adoption process is worked out, said Debbie Kroner, spokeswoman for the Social Services Agency.

"We have some foster parents that are ready," Kroner said. "We've already [checked their home environment] and completed background checks, so they're approved and ready."

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