Baby found in a plastic bag in US woods spurs hundreds of adoption offers

Baby India (above) is in protective custody and has been placed in a temporary home.
Baby India (above) is in protective custody and has been placed in a temporary home.PHOTO: EPA-EFE
The baby’s dramatic rescue was captured on a body camera by the Sheriff’s Office and posted on YouTube.
The baby’s dramatic rescue was captured on a body camera by the Sheriff’s Office and posted on YouTube.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (NYTIMES) - A Georgia newborn who defied the odds of survival after being abandoned in a plastic bag in the woods is winning over the hearts of prospective parents, hundreds of whom have offered to adopt her, the head of a state adoption agency said.

Tom Rawlings, director of Georgia's Division of Family and Children Services, said on Friday (June 28) there had been more than 700 adoption inquiries since deputies with the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office found the infant on June 6.

That is in addition to 200 families who were on an adoption waiting list maintained by the state, he said.

"I even had somebody message me on LinkedIn," Rawlings said.

"This is an amazing outpouring of love. She's a precious, beautiful, little child."

The baby's dramatic rescue, captured on a body camera by the Sheriff's Office and posted on YouTube, had been viewed more than 1.3 million times as of Friday night.

Baby India is in protective custody and has been placed in a temporary home, according to Rawlings.

"She likes being held," he said.

"She's smiling a lot. She's actually doing really well. She's a very healthy weight."

Sheriff's Office investigators are still trying to determine the identity of the baby and her mother.

A family in Cumming, Georgia, about 60km from downtown Atlanta, heard the baby crying around 10pm on June 6 and called the authorities.

Rawlings said the family and emergency responders who found her apparently came up with the name.

The infant is about three weeks old, according to Rawlings, who said his agency was working with the juvenile and superior court system to place Baby India with an adoptive family on an interim basis within the next few days.

It typically takes six to 12 months for an adoption to be finalised, he said.

Georgia officials are also using Baby India's case to draw attention to the state's Safe Haven law, which allows a mother to leave a baby up to 30 days old with a hospital, institutional infirmary, health centre or police or fire station in the state without being prosecuted.

"This is a story that could have been tragic," Rawlings said, "but is going to have a wonderful ending."