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Surrendered Medina baby in foster care

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 May 2013 at 12:00 am

MEDINA – A day-old baby surrendered to the Medina Fire Department on Saturday is currently in foster care and in good health, said a spokeswoman for the United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia.

Medina firefighters took the baby to UMMC after the mother surrendered the child. The baby has been discharged and the case has been turned over to the Orleans County Department of Social Services, said Colleen Flynn, director of community relations for UMMC.

Tom Kuryla, the Orleans DSS commissioner, said confidentiality laws prevent him from discussing the case. He would neither confirm nor deny the Orleans DSS is involved.

Flynn would not disclose the baby’s sex or weight.

“We want to protect the mom, and we want people to feel comfortable to surrender the child if they don’t think they can care for the baby,” Flynn said.

She said other babies have been surrendered at the hospital.

“It’s not common, but this isn’t the first time,” she said.

The state’s Safe Haven Law allows a parent to leave a baby, up to 30 days old, “with any responsible person at a suitable location in New York.” A suitable location is typically a hospital, fire hall or police station. The parent needs to locate a person at the site before the child is surrendered.

“We hope that more people would choose to do this as opposed to something that’s not safe,” Flynn said.

She contrasted the Medina baby with an incident in China, where a 22-year-old woman gave birth to a baby in a bathroom. The baby boy was then found stuck in a sewer pipe. The baby is recovering in a hospital in a case that has become an international story.

Flynn said she is confident there will be good outcome for the baby from Medina.

“We believe the baby is in a safe environment and will be in a safe, loving home,” Flynn said. “There are many parents who are willing to adopt a baby.”