No charges for teen who delivered baby, left child on porch in subfreezing temps

A 17-year-old girl left the baby she just delivered on the doorstep of a south Fulton County home as temps plunged below freezing, police said.
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A 17-year-old girl left the baby she just delivered on the doorstep of a south Fulton County home as temps plunged below freezing, police said.

A 17-year-old girl who left the baby she’d just delivered on the doorstep of a south Fulton County home will not face charges, police said.

Authorities were dispatched just before 3:30 a.m. Friday to a home in the 3700 block of Leisure Lane near College Park, according to Fulton police Cpl. Partrena Smith.

“A resident at that same location found the baby on the porch and notified police,” Smith said.

At the time, temperatures had plunged below freezing and metro Atlanta was under a freeze warning.

The child’s umbilical cord was still attached, according to Channel 2 Action News.

The baby was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital for evaluation. According to Channel 2, police said the 17-year-old admitted she gave birth to the baby and was taken to Grady, too. Her condition was not released.

“The baby is fine,” Smith said. “The family of the mom was unaware that she was pregnant.”

In Georgia, a safe haven law allows mothers of newborns up to 7 days old to drop off the child at a medical facility without fear of prosecution for abandoning the infant.

Georgia's law is based on the Safe Place for Newborns Act, enacted by the General Assembly in 2002.

A medical facility includes any licensed hospital, county health center or a licensed birthing center, according to the Georgia Division of Family and Children’s Services, which is involved in the case.

A medical facility does not include a private doctor’s office, a dentist or police and fire stations.

The safe haven law requires that the newborn be left in the physical custody of an on-duty employee, agent or member of the staff of a medical facility. This person may be either in a paid or a volunteer position with the facility. The mother is also encouraged to provide her name and address to the person receiving the child.

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