Search continues for mother of baby found abandoned in plastic bag in Georgia, US

Police are still searching for baby India's mother.
Police are still searching for baby India's mother. Photo: Forsyth County Sheriff's Office

Authorities remain on the search for the mother of an abandoned newborn baby found two weeks ago by the side of the road. 

Deputies from Forsyth County Sheriff's Office, Georgia in the US, were called to a wooded area to investigate reports of a baby crying on 6 June. There, they located a caucasian baby girl tied in a plastic bag, her umbilical cord still attached.

A video released by the Sheriff's Office and posted to Facebook shows the moment officers discovered and freed the little girl, whom nurses have named India.

"Look at you sweetheart. I'm so sorry," we hear Deputy Terry Roper say. "Look how precious you are."

WARNING: Video may be distressing to some viewers.

In an update on Wednesday, The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office said they had yet to identify the baby's mother."[We] are continuing to aggressively investigate and to follow leads regarding Baby India. As of today, we are still receiving tips from across the country on the possible identity of Baby India" they said. 

Adding that the little girl is "thriving" and in the care of Georgia Department of Family and Children Services, police also explained why they had chosen to release video footage from the body camera worn by the first Deputy on the night India was found.

"We release this footage in hopes to receive credible information on the identity of Baby India and to show how important it is to find closure in this case."

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The Sheriff's office noted that they had been flooded with love for India as well as offers of fostering and adoption.

"We are so very thankful for the outpouring of love and support, and would not expect anything less from our amazing community."

Speaking to Today, Forsyth County Sheriff Ron Freeman said, "It's amazing the number of people who are looking to take on a new life into their families and we got somebody who tried to throw one away."

The Sheriff's office also took to Facebook to remind parents of Georgia's Safe Haven law under which a mother can leave her newborn child, up to 30 days old, in a safe haven location including hospitals, police stations and fire departments without questions or consequences. "This law allows mothers who cannot care for their newborn properly or is in a dangerous circumstance to drop the baby off safely to a 'safe haven location'" they wrote.

It comes a week after police located the mother of a baby found dead in a plastic bag in a newcastle backyard. In Perth, two babies have been abandoned in four months.
But while the idea of a Safe Haven law, or the provision of "baby hatches" where parents can safely leave their babies, has been raised several times in Australia, it remains controversial. During a meeting in 2012, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child United Nations called for baby hatches to be banned.

"They are a bad message for society," said Maria Herczog, a Hungarian child psychologist on the UN committee, at the time. "These boxes violate children's rights and also the rights of parents to get help from the state to raise their families," she said. "Instead of providing help and addressing some of the social problems and poverty behind these situations, we're telling people they can just leave their baby and run away."

Despite this, a coronial inquest following the death of baby Lily Grace, who was found in a shallow grave at Maroubra beach in 2014, recommended the use of baby hatches and the introduction of safe haven laws.

"Safe haven laws allow parents to hand over their babies without risk of prosecution by authorities," said Deputy State Coroner Hugh Dillon at the time.

"They enable desperate [mothers] to come forward without fear of humiliation and prosecution to hand over their babies to someone who will safeguard them," he said. 

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