Tuesday 23 January 2018

Court grants care order for baby Maria as doctors carry out DNA test

Superintendent Brendan Connolly at a press conference in Clondalkin Garda Station where they named the abandoned baby as Maria
Superintendent Brendan Connolly at a press conference in Clondalkin Garda Station where they named the abandoned baby as Maria
Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

AN interim care order has been granted for baby Maria, the newborn found abandoned at the side of a road, after doctors caring for her said she needs urgent treatment.

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, told a sitting of the Family Court in Dublin that doctors want to carry out a brain scan and a neurological examination of the baby.

They also want permission to carry out a DNA test for the purpose of identifying the baby's biological mother, should she come forward.

Solicitor for Tusla, Patrick McClean, said the agency will continue to try to find the mother of baby Maria and the agency had already carried out checks with other hospitals in a bid to trace her.

RTE Radio 1's 'Today with Sean O'Rourke' reported that Judge Brendan Toale, sitting at the Family Court in Dolphin House on Monday, said the child's health and welfare had been neglected and avoidably impaired.

Referring to a report from a consultant neonatologist at the Coombe maternity hospital, where Maria was brought after she was found abandoned last Friday, Judge Toale said the child needed a lot of medical attention and ongoing treatment at both the Coombe and Our Lady's Hospital, Crumlin.

The consultant said he anticipated a good outcome for baby Maria - who was referred to throughout the court proceedings as "Jane Doe". However the doctor said an interim care order was needed so that treatment could be given.

Judge Toale asked what would happen if the parents came forward and would they be given access to their child?

A social worker for Tusla said they would be given access - after the agency had carried out an assessment.

Tusla said it was seeking an interim care order for 28 days, the maximum available.

Judge Toale said he was satisfied that Jane Doe had been found at the roadside and that there had been no contact from her parents.

He added that newborn had suffered some adverse effects from being left in the open and required care and attention.

Granting the order, he said provision had to be made for the baby's medical needs. He said if the parents come forward, they should be informed of the order.


In a statement released to the Irish Independent yesterday, Tusla said that when baby Maria is ready to be discharged from hospital, care arrangements will be made for her. It is expected she will be placed in foster care.

"While Tusla does not comment on individual cases, in the current situation the Child and Family Agency would urge the baby's mum to come forward so that she can receive the help she needs and so that she can be consulted on her baby's future," it said.

"In all cases regarding babies who are found the first priority is the medical well being of the child. When the baby is ready to leave hospital appropriate care is arranged for the child.

"Decisions regarding the baby's future, in the absence of parental contact, are overseen by the courts."

Irish Independent

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