A NEWBORN girl was found near a creek in Barangay Mantuyong, Mandaue City on Sunday morning, Jan. 5, 2020.
Centro Police Station Chief Maj. Ramil Morpos said the baby was brought to the city hospital after the discovery around 5 a.m.
The foundling was in stable condition and the medical staff will transfer her to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7, said Morpos.
Morpos had ordered an investigation to determine the identity of the girl’s parents, who he said violated Republic Act 7610, or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.
In a separate interview, store owner Rolando Labiste said a group of children heard the sound of a baby crying from a box placed near the creek.
When the children opened the box, they found the infant. They ran to Labiste, whose house stands near the creek. The children then asked for his help. Labiste then took the baby to the hospital, after he saw that her umbilical cord was still intact and her lips were turning pale.
He later approached the City Social Welfare Services (CSWS), telling the social workers that he would love to adopt the baby and bring her back to his home.
CSWS Chief Maricel Yu, however, said Labiste could not adopt the baby right away as there are protocols that must be followed to legally adopt an abandoned child.
Social workers, she said, must secure the blotter entry that states the baby’s discovery. They also need to get medical and foundling certificates, before transferring the baby to the DSWD 7.
Before the baby would be put up for adoption, Yu said, the biological parents would be given three to six months to claim the baby. If the parents show up, Yu said, they would not be able to take the baby right away. They would still have to undergo a process that would determine if they are fit to raise the child on their own.
Yu called the infant a survivor, saying the baby girl could have died if she had not drunk milk within two hours.
Labiste’s daughter Anna Fe said she plans to name the foundling Crystal Shane.
However, adoption is a long process. It is also not crystal clear whether the Labistes would persist and earn the adoption rights.
Yu, for her part, encouraged the Labistes to file a petition to adopt the child. While waiting for the process to end, the family can visit the girl at the DSWD 7 in Cebu City. (KFD)