SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) – A newborn girl found abandoned and critically ill outside a Southampton fire station was improving Saturday as authorities continued efforts to find her parents.

The baby was suffering from hypothermia and blood loss after she was taken to Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton on Friday.

The newborn was initially listed as critical but stable, and that condition was upgraded to stable on Saturday, said Denise Monteiro, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Social Services.

“We believe she’s going to pull through,” Monteiro said.

The infant was expected to remain at least a few days in the neonatal intensive care unit at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, where she was taken after her condition was stabilized at the Northampton hospital.

The parents could face charges for abandoning the baby because the state does not have a “safe haven” law, which protects parents who anonymously leave unwanted babies with authorities.

The 5-pound, 7-ounce infant’s body temperature was 84 degrees – about 15 degrees below normal – when she arrived at the Northampton hospital, Monteiro said. She also was suffering from blood loss because her umbilical cord had not been tied off after birth.

“The doctors said if another hour had passed, she probably would have lost too much blood and died,” she said.

The infant, wrapped in a purple towel, was discovered Friday morning by a woman on her way to work who heard the baby crying, police said. The weather had been cool and drizzly overnight.

Hospital staff named the baby “Angelique.”

The state took temporary custody of the baby. If the baby’s parents come forward, DSS will try to place Angelique with the parents’ family members. If not, the baby will be placed in a foster home and ultimately adopted.

Police issued a public plea asking anyone with information about the baby or her mother to contact police.

On Saturday, advocates of safe haven laws used Angelique’s case to renew their push for such legislation in Massachusetts, one of five states without such a law.

One such bill is making its way through the Legislature.

A news release issued by a group called Baby Safe Haven said the absence of such a law in Massachusetts leads to more deaths of unwanted newborns.

Safe haven laws designate places, including hospitals, fire stations and police departments, where parents can anonymously leave a baby within seven days of birth without facing legal repercussions.

AP-ES-07-17-04 1506EDT



Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.