The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Address shadow on infant adoption
- Prospective ‘parents’ back out when told girl was found in red-light area

First things first. The abandoned baby, found by a cart-puller early on Monday, is a girl. In the initial confusion following the discovery of an infant wrapped in newspapers and rags on Prem Chand Boral Street, the police had said it was a boy. On Tuesday, records at the Lady Dufferin Hospital — where the baby is undergoing treatment — revealed that it was a girl.

The day after she was given a second lease of life when Rakesh Kumar Jha noticed her lying on the pavement, whimpering softly, the abandoned girl at Lady Dufferin drew “prospective parents” by the dozens. They had all seen the morning papers and were eager to adopt the child.

But by the end of Tuesday, only two — one “a doctor couple” and another “from the city’s cultural circles” — remained interested in taking the baby girl home. The rest, alleged the local police, backed out as soon as they heard the baby had been found “in one of the city’s largest red-light areas”. Timir Bhattacharya, officer-in-charge, Muchipara police station, said: “It is sad, but true. Everyone seemed enthusiastic at first, but once they learnt where she was found, they said they would get back to us later.”

Oblivious to the shadow that the address of her abandonment has cast over her future, the three-day-old girl was on the road to recovery in the paediatric ward of the Amherst Street hospital. Suffering from “weakness and malnutrition”, she has been responding well to treatment, doctors said.

For the next 15 days, the baby will be at Lady Dufferin. “This follows a court order, issued by the Sealdah chief metropolitan magistrate’s court,” said Zulfiquar Hasan, deputy commissioner of police (central). “We hope someone will come forward by then to adopt the baby.”

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