Newbornhidden in backyard found unharmed

SAN MATEO — An abandoned newborn baby was found alive by a gardener behind a home on the 1500 block of South Delaware Street in San Mateo on Wednesday afternoon.

About 2 p.m., a gardener working in the backyard of the home found a very recently born infant boy wrapped up in a blanket and placed in the yard as if someone were trying to hide him, San Mateo police reported.

The boy’s mother, 13, was at the same residence — the house of one of her step-parents — and both baby and mother were taken to a local hospital for medical treatment and examination. Both are in good health.

No arrests have been made, and police are working with San Mateo County Child Protective Services and the County District Attorney’s Office. Questions remain regarding the reason for apparently hiding the baby as well as about the pregnancy and birth, San Mateo Police Lt. Tom Daughtry said.

The Safely Surrendered Babies Law allows those with infants to surrender babies up to three months old at hospitals or fire stations, and parents can always talk to the county’s adoption department, said Mark Lane, the director of Children and Family Services for the county.

What happens typically in situations such as the discovery of the baby and the mother is that an assessment of the family is done to see if there’s a relative or family member who can care for the baby, said Lane.

“Otherwise, we’d look at adoption, guardianship or another permanent plan for the child,” Lane said.

San Mateo County has a hot line for those concerned about the safety of a child or potential abuse, (650) 595-7922, and it’s answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

dsmith@examiner.com

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