A baby girl was abandoned on Sandy Beach in Honolulu late Sunday night, but was found by a good Samaritan who heard the infant crying. No one has yet come forward to claim the newborn, which means that she could become a ward of the state until a family is found for her.
The baby girl was born full-term and weighed 8 pounds at birth but was "immediately abandoned after birth," Patricia McManaman, state Department of Human Services Director told the Associated Press.
Michelle Yu was parked at the beach when she heard screaming, followed by silence and then a baby crying. She decided to walk towards the baby's cries and found the newborn completely abandoned, so she took the little girl to a local hospital. Police were notified of the abandonment and are currently investigating the case as endangering the welfare of a minor, as well as child abandonment.
Hawaii is a state with "safe haven" laws, which allow parents to leave their newborns at a safe location, such as a fire department, hospital, or police station, without fear of prosecution. Parents have 72 hours to leave the child unharmed following the birth, otherwise it can become a case of abandonment or endangerment.
For now, the baby girl is at Queen's Medical Center, where she is doing well and being fed formula. No one has come forward to claim her, and the Department of Human Services will file a petition in the family court to ask for custody of her. A hearing will then be held within the week.
"We're just very grateful this child is alive and doing well," McManaman told AP.
Even though Hawaii has a safe haven law, no one has used it since it became an official law. People have suggested that the government launch a campaign to encourage parents to safely leave their children, rather than leaving them in dangerous situations.
"I am glad the baby is OK, and I wish her well. She is already a lucky little thing. May the winds of fortune continue to be at her back, and may they carry with them a loving family for her, and a happy life," Huffington Post user hazyafternoonsunshine posted.