A newborn was left on a beach in Hawaii on Monday shortly after she was born. The full-term, eight-pound newborn was discovered by a woman and taken to human services.
Department of Human Services Director Patricia McManaman added that the newborn was “abandoned immediately after birth.” The baby was discovered at Sandy Beach in east Honolulu.
A woman sitting in a parked car reported hearing several people screaming, according to police spokeswoman Michelle Yu. A few minutes later the screaming stopped. Then, the woman heard a baby crying. She left her car and walked toward the ocean where she discovered the infant laying in the sand.
The woman immediately took the infant to a hospital. Police are currently treating the case as endangering the welfare of a minor as well as child abandonment. The baby was discovered naked.
But McManaman reported that she was doing well and drinking formula at the Queen’s Medical Center. She added, “We’re just very grateful this child is alive and doing well.”
A hearing will be held by Monday where the Department of Human Services is expected to file for custody of the child in family court. If no one comes forward to claim the newborn found on the beach, then DHS will likely be granted custody. McManaman added that the state will also ask the court for permission to release a photo of the infant, if no family is identified.
Hawaii currently has a baby safe haven law, which was enacted in 2007. The law allows a person immunity from prosecution if they leave a newborn at a fire department, police station, hospital, or with emergency services within 72 hours of birth. However, that law does not apply to the baby left on the beach.
McManaman added that no one has taken advantage of the baby safe haven law since it was enacted. Forty-eight other states have similar laws. For Hawaii, the baby safe haven hotline is 800-494-3991.
If police find the woman who left the newborn on the beach, she will likely be prosecuted on charges of child abandonment as well as endangering the welfare of a minor.
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