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Outpouring of support for Baby India highlights need for awareness of prevention and permanency
ATLANTA – The responses from across the country – and even internationally – for an infant discovered in the North Georgia woods brings attention to the need for increased awareness regarding preventative services and for foster and adoptive parents for hundreds of other Georgia children, the head of the state’s child welfare agency said Friday.
Dozens of concerned individuals have called, emailed and contacted the agency on social media with interest in Baby India, a newborn found near Cumming, Ga., according to Tom Rawlings, Director of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services. Many have offered to adopt her. Others have offered donations.
Nurses at the hospital named the child baby India as investigators from law enforcement and the Division work to find her mother. Georgia’s Safe Haven law allows mothers to leave their infants at a police station, fire department, or hospital within 30 days of birth without facing criminal charges. The infant must be given to a worker at one of those locations, and the mother is allowed to remain anonymous.
“We are grateful for the interest and support flooding in for Baby India,” Rawlings said. “We currently have several hundred people already on a waiting list to adopt a child under age 5, but we are pleased that news of this child has touched people’s hearts. We hope they will be moved enough to consider fostering or adopting an older child or group of siblings.”
“Siblings want to stay together, and we’ve found they are happier and have better outcomes when they are adopted into the same home,” Rawlings said.
At any given time, Georgia has 300-400 children available for adoption. The process for adopting involves background checks, parenting classes with an emphasis on dealing with trauma, and a get-acquainted period to make sure there’s a good fit.
Baby India continues to do well and is thriving in a safe and stable placement. The agency is working expeditiously to get her into her forever home.