CPS awaits adoption for abandoned newborn

Killeen Police Department photo - An unidentified 2-hour-old girl was found abandoned April 29 at the Killeen Central Fire Station Academy.

By Victor O'Brien

Killeen Daily Herald

The odds favor that an abandoned infant girl will be adopted within six months, a Child Protective Services spokesman said Tuesday.

CPS was unable to confirm Tuesday whether it took custody of the infant girl abandoned outside the Killeen Central Fire Academy April 29.

Based on state adoption rules and trends, the baby could be adopted within six months, CPS spokesman Chris Van Deusen said Tuesday.

Once released to CPS from Metroplex Hospital, the child could be placed in a foster home or a potential adoptive home.

Caseworkers and judges prefer for a child to live with a family for six months before finalizing an adoption.

The six months gives the family and CPS a chance to gauge how well they fit. If no adoptive homes are found, the child will be placed in a foster home.

"Generally, though, there are people willing to step up and take infants, so it's easier to find an adoptive placement for an infant than say an older child," Van Deusen said.

Over the next six months, CPS will coordinate legal proceedings to terminate parental rights. Under the law, the courts assume that parents who abandon children have surrendered their rights, Van Deusen said.

A Killeen fire lieutenant found the crying infant wrapped in a blue jacket outside his window at the Killeen Central Fire Station Academy around 3 p.m. April 29.

Killeen police said Friday they are investigating whether the case falls under Texas' safe haven law. The law allows mothers to leave infants younger than 60 days with emergency responders such as firefighters at a fire station.

Seeking the infant's family medical history, Killeen police also asked for the public's help to locate the mother. Killeen police could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Police believe the baby was born about two hours before being abandoned. The baby, believed to be of Hispanic origin, weighs 6 pounds, 3.5 ounces and is 18 inches long.

Contact Victor O'Brien at vobrien@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7468. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.

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