Friday 21 October 2016

Court told baby 'Maria' requires a lot of medical attention

Judge grants interim care order for baby

Geraldine Gittens

Published 12/05/2015 | 11:53

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, has obtained an interim care order for the baby girl abandoned in Dublin last week.

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Judge Brendan Toale heard yesterday at the Family Court in Dolphin House that the application for the interim care order centred around the medical needs of the baby, RTE’s Today with Sean O’Rourke has reported. 

The court heard that a report from a consultant neo-naetologist  at the Coombe said the child needed a lot of medical attention and needs ongoing treatment in both the Coombe hospital and Our Lady’s Hospital, Crumlin.

While the consultant anticipated a good outcome, an interim care order was needed so that treatment could be given, reporter Valerie Cox, who was at the court, told Sean O'Rourke.

The court heard that this treatment was very urgent and the hospital was awaiting the outcome of the court. Doctors wanted to carry out a brain scan, neurological examination of the baby and also they wanted permission to carry out a DNA test.

Patrick McClean, solicitor for Tusla, told the court that the DNA test would assist in establishing parentage and Gardai could compare this with the data base to ensure the mother is actually the biological parent if and when she comes forward.

Dolphin House
Dolphin House

Mr McClean said Tusla will continue trying to find the mother and they had carried out checks with other hospitals.

A social worker from Tusla gave detailed evidence of how baby Maria - referred to in court as baby Jane Doe - was found and the efforts that have been made to locate the parent

Judge Toale cross-questioned her about those efforts and asked if she was in constant contact with Gardai in case the parents came forward.  She said she had been in touch with Gardai just half an hour before the case came to court but there was no update.  The baby is currently being cared for in the Coombe Hospital.

Judge Toale said the child’s health and welfare had been neglected and avoidably impaired.

The social worker told the Judge that in the event that baby Maria’s parents come forward, they would be given access to their baby after social workers had carried out their assessment.

The Judge said provision now had to be made for the child’s medical needs and he granted the interim care order to Tusla for the next 28 days.

He said the child had suffered some adverse effects by being left in the open and she required care and attention.

Another hearing to extend the order will follow, the Judge said. He added that if the parents become known in the meantime they are to be notified of the order and they are entitled to apply for an order to vary that.

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