An unusual sound coming from the toilets caught the attention of a janitor at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in England.
It wasn’t water running or a toilet malfunction, but more of a “squeaking” sound. What the janitor found was a baby with tissues stuffed in its mouth, still curled up in a fetal position, the Daily Mail reports.
“The baby survived his ordeal with remarkable fortitude and, with medical intervention, was effectively unscathed by the circumstances of his birth,” the Liverpool Crown Court prosecution said.
The baby’s mother had been at the hospital complaining of abdominal pain hours earlier on July 5, 2016, but she denied any probability of being pregnant, the Daily Mail reported. Hours later, the baby was found. Hospital security was notified, and the baby was promptly provided medical care, including oxygen therapy.
The mother and her partner initially denied giving birth, despite the courts finding evidence of internet searches related to pregnancy and home birth on her home computer. Later, the mother acknowledged giving birth, though she believed the baby to be dead, according to the report.
She is charged with attempted infanticide, and legal proceedings are currently underway.
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The court and a team of psychiatrists also are currently assessing the woman’s mental health following the birth, BBC News reports.
Last year, a petition was brought before British Parliament asking for legislation similar to the “Baby Moses” or Safe Haven laws in the United States. Such laws allow for newly born, unharmed infants to be dropped off at fire stations, law enforcement, hospitals or other designated locations without questions being asked.
It is illegal to abandon a child in the United Kingdom, though there is no parallel version of the Safe Haven laws in that country at this time.
On this side of the pond, all 50 states in the Union, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have some variation of the Safe Haven laws. First enacted in Texas in 1999, the concept of the law is the same everywhere, though the age limits on children accepted under the law vary between the states. After being dropped off, the child must immediately be transported to a local hospital, and the child welfare department is notified.
Parents or guardians surrendering their children under such legislation are not prosecuted as long as the child is unharmed. The state then takes responsibility for finding a home for the child.