New York — On Monday afternoon, a newborn baby was found abandoned by a custodian at a church in the Richmond Hill neighborhood of Queens.

The baby boy, who weighed about five pounds, was taken to emergency crews at Jamaica Hospital. As Christopher Heanue, pastor of the Holy Child of Jesus Church wrote on the church’s Facebook page, the baby appeared to be in good health.

The baby after police officials found him on the Holy Child Jesus Church, in Richmond Hill. Photo: Christopher Ryan Heanue/ New York Post.
The baby after police officials found him on the Holy Child Jesus Church, in Richmond Hill. Photo: Christopher Ryan Heanue/ New York Post.

The baby, who got the nickname of “Baby Jesus” was found covered in purple towels in the nativity’s crèche after Jose Moran, a 60 year old custodian for three years, heard him crying. He didn’t see anybody around, so he got curious and followed the cry. He said to NY Daily News he could not believe his eyes when he saw the little creature next to the Virgin Mary statue, with his umbilical cord still attached.

Police stated they are investigating to find out who abandoned the baby. A surveillance video was already found, showing a woman walking into the church with the baby, after going to a .99 Cents & Up market on Jamaica Avenue –which is a close to the church– to buy towels to cover the boy.

Mr. Heanue, pastor of the church were the baby was found, said the child was a kind of gift to the church in a poetic way, so they would love to see him stay in the community.

“God works in mysterious ways. The child’s mother must have been in a difficult place in her life. She found in this crèche … this empty place where Jesus will be in a few weeks … as a home for her son,” the pastor said, according to NY Daily News.

Abandoned babies are more common than we might think

According to a report made by the Christian Science Monitor in April, 2,800 babies are estimated to have been saved for state laws that allow parents leave them in safe places. However, another 1,400 have been abandoned in illegal ways. 933 of those babies, which means about two-thirds, have been found dead.

There is some discussion about abandoned babies in a series of states of the U.S., as several laws have been created to ensure the baby’s safety while protecting the parent’s anonymous condition. According to the Office of Children and Family Services from New York State, parents are allowed to abandon a newborn baby up to 30 days of age anonymously and without fear of persecution if the baby is left in a safe manner.

The office points out in its official web page that persons leaving infants under this law aren’t required to give out their names. Also, they wouldn’t be charged guilty of crime if infants are left in suitable locations, such as police stations or churches. However, parents must notify at least one person around when the baby is abandoned.

The ‘baby boxes’ initiative

Recently, Indiana state paid atention to the several concerns surrounding abandoned babies. “Baby boxes” will be put around the state in order to promote “save dropouts” that will avoid parents leave babies in dangerous places, such as trash cans or the woods. Boxes, which will notify qualified emergency personnel after the baby is left inside it, would be heated and padded.

However, these measures have caused controversy in Europe. In 2012, a United Nations committee said this laws were violating children’s rights.

“The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents,” reads the article seven from the Convention on the Right of the Child published by the United Nations.

Source: NY Daily News