The baby girl recovered from a plastic bag earlier this month has only been earthside for three weeks and is already making waves. “Baby India”, as the community has nicknamed her, has drawn media attention to the town of Cummings, Georgia, where she was found June 6th. While many expressed outrage at the still-unidentified parents who tried to dispose of the newborn, others reached out to county officials to offer help. Forsyth County authorities have been inundated with calls from well-wishers, some as far away as Ireland, to offer their support. In a beautifully redemptive turn of events, thousands of families have expressed interest in adopting Baby India as their own.
“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.” - Sheriff Ron Freeman
On the evening of June 6th, a resident on a rural road called the police after he and his children heard the sound of a baby crying. A sheriff’s deputy discovered the baby in a plastic bag tied shut. She was covered in blood and still had a significant length of umbilical cord attached. Last week, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office released the bodycam video of the reporting officer. They wanted to publicize the case in the hopes that someone with information will contact the authorities. Within a few days of the video’s release, the police reported they had received over 150 tips.
Because no one has stepped forward to claim the child as their own, Baby India is in the custody of the Georgia Department of Children and Family Services. Despite her rough start in life, Baby India is healthy and doing well.
Local authorities published a reminder of Georgia’s “Safe Haven” law. The law allows parents who feel they cannot adequately care for their children to relinquish custody of the child anytime within the first 30 days of the baby’s life. Even though the law has been in effect for 20 years, officials are unsure if Baby India’s mother knew about the Safe Haven law. Two years ago the law was expanded to make it more accessible; now mothers can drop their newborn baby at any hospital, fire station, or police station without fear of criminal charges. Sheriff Freeman added:
“As long as they turn it over to a person, a live human being, they cannot be charged with abandonment, cruelty to children. It is a way to make sure that a child like this is safely cared for.”
Baby India is believed to be either white or Hispanic and was born full-term. Authorities are asking anyone who may have information about the baby to contact their tip line. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call (770) 888-7308, or callers can speak directly to the major crimes unit at (770) 781-3087.
Families interested in adopting Baby India may have to wait for officials to conclude their investigation. However, those who are seeking to adopt a child currently in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services are encouraged to learn more about the adoption process. Prospective adopters must be Georgia residents for at least six months before submitting a petition to adopt.