'Jade', named after the dog who found the baby wrapped in a plastic bag under a bush, is being cared for in hospital and is expected to make a full recovery, despite being left in the open air in late October.
Harnessing the wonders of modern technology, West Midlands Police have released video footage of the child, as well as a lengthy announcement on facebook, in an attempt to trace the mother.
This, of course, makes perfect sense; the mother has recently given birth and may well need medical attention in addition to help with whatever personal circumstances led her to take this drastic and potentially infanticidal step.
What follows, though, is surely beyond the bounds of reason. In the words of Chief Inspector Ian Green:
"...of course what she really needs is to be in her mother’s arms. I’d urge Jade’s mum to make contact with us on the 101 police number so we can reunite them and get her medical attention and emotional support.”What kind of continuing support will be needed for a mother who walked away and left her new-born baby to die of exposure? If pre-natal drink or drugs are involved - by no means out of the question - the child may well turn out to have the kind of complex behavioural or educational needs which can place strain on the most stable and secure of parents, let alone a mother who clearly needs help herself.
Several of my school and college contemporaries were adopted as infants, as were two of my cousins; all have enjoyed happy and successful lives with a stable and loving family background. Three decades later, thanks to a change of policy, friends were told that adopting a new-born baby was a virtual impossibility and they should expect a potentially disturbed and neglected toddler or older child whose parents had, despite every effort by the authorities, finally been unable to cope.
It is an undeniable fact that there are women out there who are incapable of looking after a child properly even with official support, as recent high-profile cases of child abuse have illustrated all too well. Reuniting 'Jade' with her birth mother rather than allowing her to be adopted is surely against the child's best interests, whatever the rights of the mother.
The policy of keeping such mothers and children together until the child's safety becomes an issue serves to keep a myriad public servants in work but at what cost to the child?