Abandoned baby being treated, police say no laws broken

A newborn baby that was dropped off Thursday at Seacoast Medical Center in Little River is being treated at McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence.

Since the child was dropped off at a medical facility within 30 days of its birth, the mother will not face prosecution. Daniel's Law in South Carolina is designed to provide a safe haven for abandoned babies. One local adoption investigator says, if there's anything wrong with the law it's that not enough people know about it.

S hortly after 5 :00 T hursday evening, a woman carrying a baby walked up to a clinical employee in the parking lot at S eacoast Medical Center. She said she was the child's mother.

"She did give the infant to this person and indicated that she was leaving the child for safe keeping in the hands of the employee and the medical facility here," said Celeste Bondurant-Bell, spokesperson at Seacoast.

T he hospital employee took the boy to the emergency room, where a doctor stabilized the child and determined it needed further care. The infant was transferred to the neo-natal unit at McLeod.

A spokesperson for Seacoast says the hospital employee handled the situation correctly.

"They are trained into what they need to do and the first thing they do is to treat the child and seek medical attention for the child. We then notify Department of Social Services and the child then becomes legal custody of the DSS," said Bondurant-Bell.

A doption investigator Teanne Oehler, who's handled similar cases, says the birth mother did the right thing, too. She says it's a tough decision for a young woman to make.

"Some of them say that they're still in denial, that they didn't seek prenatal care because they thought that the pregnancy would go away, or they feel panic because they don't want family members to know," said Oehler.

She adds, the fact that this case made headlines helps raise awareness of Daniel's Law and it means there's a better chance the little boy in this case will end up in a loving home.

"So that people if they're thinking they want to be a foster parent or they're particularly interested in this child, that they would be contacting the Department of Social Services," said Oehler.

Horry County Police say there's no evidence of a law being broken, so they will not investigate. Daniel's Law is named after an infant who survived after being buried in an Allendale County landfill shortly after birth.