Church Members Offer to Adopt Newborn Left in Manger

PHOTO:A newborn baby was found wrapped in a towel in the manger of a nativity scene at the Holy Child Jesus Parish in Queens on Monday.PlayCourtesy Fr. Christopher Heanue
WATCH Church Members Offer to Adopt Newborn Left in Manger

Several members of a church in Queens, New York, have offered to adopt a newborn baby boy who was found in the manger of a nativity scene there.

The boy's mother won’t face any charges under the so-called “safe haven” law -– which says a newborn can be dropped off at a church, hospital, police or fire station without fear of prosecution.

The mom left the tot in a nativity manger in the Holy Child Jesus Church. When police caught up with the mother, she told them she left him in the manger because it was the "warmest place in the church".

But the law -– known as the Abandoned Infant Protection Act -- requires the child be left with someone or for authorities to be called immediately.

Police said that didn’t happen in this case which is why the mother was pursued, according to Associated Press.

It was around 11:30 a.m. when a custodian at the church left the empty chapel to get some lunch. When he returned shortly after 1 p.m., he heard a baby crying but saw no one else around. It was at that point, the custodian saw the newborn baby, wrapped in towels, laying in the manger of the nativity scene.

The church’s pastor Christopher Heanue wrote on the church’s Facebook page, the baby was a boy and weighed just over 5 pounds and is said to be doing just fine.

Queen’s District Attorney Richard Brown released a statement, "After a full review of all the facts and circumstances surrounding the discovery of a newborn infant this past Monday in a creche inside of Holy Child Jesus Church in the Richmond Hill section of Queens County - including locating and interviewing the mother - my office has determined that no criminal prosecution of the child's mother is warranted."

Brown said the mother followed the spirit of the Safe Haven law.

"It appears that the mother, in this case, felt her newborn child would be found safely in the church and chose to place the baby in the manger because it was the warmest place in the church, and further she returned the following morning to make certain that the baby had been found," Brown said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.