Halifax police continue search for parents of baby found behind store
Published Tuesday, October 31, 2017 9:34PM ADT
Halifax Regional Police are still looking for the parents of a baby girl who was found abandoned Sunday night behind a store on Quinpool Road.
The infant is now in the care of community services and police don't know who she is or why she was abandoned.
“Investigators are still canvassing the area and talking to witnesses as well as reviewing any video surveillance that might assist us in locating the parents of this infant or determining who she is,” says Const Dianne Penfound, spokesperson for Halifax Regional Police.
Police say the baby is four to five weeks old and of African Canadian descent. Two young women discovered her Sunday lying on the ground, crying in a onesie and a diaper.
Dr. Tanya Tulipan is a psychiatrist at the IWK Health Centre. She says abandonment cases are rare and often complicated.
“We know that often there are difficult life circumstances, either financial or cultural. Often the moms can be younger. It can be their first child sometimes,” says Dr. Tulipan.
“The help is there. We aren't here to judge.”
Abuse Hurts director Ellen Campbell has buried six abandoned babies in Ontario. She wants Canadian provinces to bring in safe haven laws so women can leave unwanted newborns at public buildings anonymously.
“These mothers are obviously in distress. They could have physiological or drug problems, so it's not about punishing the mother. It's about saving the baby,” Campbell says.
A handful of Canadian hospitals offer Angel's Cradles where babies can be left no questions asked. There are currently none in the Maritimes.
Supports for pregnant women and new mothers are offered through the Department of Health and Community Services.
“I think we would really look to intervene before a situation escalates to the point where someone feels like they have no other alternatives,” Wendy Bungay of the community services department said Monday.
Police won't know why this baby was left until they find the parents. The Minister of Community Services says her department is working with investigators, but after 72 hours the courts become involved and the chances she'll be reunited with family are less likely.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kelland Sundahl.