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Abandoned baby out of hospital; CPS searches for relatives

Infant leaves hospital for foster care as CPS mounts search
Erin Mulvane, Houston Chronicle
Updated 3:03 pm, Tuesday, February 26, 2013

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  • Baby Chloe already has a small bottom tooth. Photo: Mayra Beltran/Chronicle

    Baby Chloe already has a small bottom tooth.

    Photo: Mayra Beltran/Chronicle

 

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An infant abandoned last week in Cypress was healthy enough on Monday to be released from Texas Children's Hospital and temporarily given to a foster family.

Named Chloe by hospital officials, the 6-day-old has a full head of black hair, big gray eyes and already has a small bottom tooth, which is unusual for newborns and is considered a genetic trait. And it could be a clue to finding the girl's family.

So far, Chloe is healthy and has been a sweet baby, said her case worker, Kliche Adebanjo.

"She is a normal, healthy baby," Adebanjo said, as she held the tiny newborn in her arms. "The only time she fusses is when she's hungry or needs a diaper change. She's usually quiet and content."

Chloe will be cared for by a foster family until her court date on March 4, when a judge will make a decision about her fate. Until then, Child Protective Services officials hope relatives will come forward so that she can be placed with them or that an adoptive family will have an idea of her background and family medical history.

CPS is required to first consider a relative as a custodian if appropriate family members are willing and able to raise the child. CPS spokeswoman Estella Olguin said Monday investigators have no leads to the newborn's family.

In plastic bag

The mystery began to unfold on Feb. 19 when the newborn was found by a woman walking her dog.

The child was alive in a plastic bag near the Stonegate Villas Apartments in the 11000 block of Grant Road in Cypress. About 3 inches of the naked baby's umbilical cord was still attached and had been cut.

"We were fortunate the baby was found so quickly and that the woman looked in the bag," Olguin said.

Officials believe when the baby was found she was about two hours old and was slightly premature at 35 weeks gestation.

Law passed in 1999

There was one case of infant abandonment in 2012 in the greater Houston area.

In 1999, state lawmakers passed a law after a series of cases where infants were abandoned, found dead or injured in ditches, trash cans and a field in a nine-month period.

The law allows a parent to safely surrender or deliver the unharmed newborn infant to a fire station, hospital, EMS station or safe haven without facing prosecution.

Anyone who believes that Chloe might be related to someone they know is asked to call Adebanjo at 281-847-4192.

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