Home » Newborn found in shopping bag the 3rd baby deserted by same parents: U.K. court – National | Globalnews.ca

Newborn found in shopping bag the 3rd baby deserted by same parents: U.K. court – National | Globalnews.ca

A newborn who was discovered abandoned in a shopping bag in London, England last January is the third baby to be deserted by the same parents, a U.K. court has declared.

The latest child to be abandoned, known only as “Baby Elsa,” was found by a dogwalker in the east London borough of Newham during sub-zero temperatures on Jan. 18. She was swaddled in a towel inside a shopping bag by the roadside.

Court documents allege Baby Elsa was less than an hour old when she was found by the dogwalker. Her umbilical cord was still attached.

Now, the East London Family Court said DNA testing of Baby Elsa has established that she is the third child to be abandoned by the same parents.

The two other siblings, a boy and a girl, were also deserted as infants by their parents in 2017 and 2019.  Though their names have since been changed, the two siblings were formerly known as Baby Harry and Baby Roman, respectively. They too were discovered soon after being abandoned and brought to medical care facilities.

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The court said the three instances of desertion were similar in nature, with all the infants being found in the same area of London.

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Baby Elsa’s parents have not been publicly identified, though London’s Metropolitan Police are searching for them. They have asked for anyone with information about the parents to come forward.

“We understand the significant public interest that will come following the lifting of restrictions that allow this information to be reported,” Detective Inspector Jamie Humm said in a statement. “It is significant news and our work has focused on trying to locate the mother and provide support to her.”

The BBC and PA Media were given special permission to report about Baby Elsa’s parentage because the judge in the case said the instances are of “great public interest” in the U.K. It is normally forbidden to report on cases of this nature, with restrictions on identifying minors and their family members.

“We have worked 24/7 in each of these three cases to identify the parents, so far without success,” Humm continued. “We have also had to be mindful of the sensitivities that exist now all of the children are being cared for. Their welfare, including their privacy, is paramount.”

Judge Carol Atkinson of the East London Family Court said it is “very, very unusual” for children to be abandoned in present-day England.

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Baby Elsa — who was named by hospital staff after the cold weather in which she was found — remains in foster care but is doing well, according to the court. The older two siblings were adopted.

The court plans to inform the three children that they are siblings and will facilitate contact between them.

There is no clear data about how many babies are abandoned yearly in the U.K., though the British Office for National Statistics said there were 12 abandoned babies on record in England and Wales between 2005 and 2014.

These statistics have been criticized by a number of organizations who claim they are too low to be legitimate. The University College London in 2009 said 16 babies were abandoned every year in the U.K.

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