DNA test to be carried out on abandoned baby

Family Court told child found in Rathcoole last Friday needs ongoing medical care

The child named “baby Maria” was found last Friday on the Steelstown Road near the Kildare-Dublin border. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

The child named “baby Maria” was found last Friday on the Steelstown Road near the Kildare-Dublin border. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

The child and family agency Tusla has been granted an interim care order for the baby girl found abandoned in Dublin last week.

The order was granted by Judge Brendan Toale on Monday at the Family Court in Dublin’s Dolphin House.

A report from a consultant neo-naetologist from the Coombe said the child needed medical attention and ongoing treatment in both the Coombe and Our Lady’s Hospital, Crumlin. A good outcome is anticipated but an interim care order was needed so that treatment could be given.

Doctors wanted to carry out a brain scan, a neurological examination of the baby and also they wanted permission to carry out a DNA test to help identify the parents.

Speaking this morning on RTÉ Radio 1’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show, Valerie Cox who was in court for the hearing said Judge Toale made it clear that it was an ex parte application where only one side - Tusla - was present.

A case like this would normally involve a parent but the welfare of the child required that action was taken now, the Judge said.

Referred to throughout the hearing as ‘Jane Doe’, significant efforts had been made to locate the parents of the child but had been unsuccessful, he said.

The social worker from Tusla gave detailed evidence of how the child was found.

The child was discovered on Steelstown Rd, Rathcoole, wrapped in a blanket, a bin liner inside a plastic bag.

Judge Toale asked what efforts were made to trace the parents and asked if the social worker had constant contact with the Gardaí in case the parents came forward. She said she had been in touch with the Gardaí just half an hour before the case came to court and there was no news.

The baby is currently being cared for in the Coombe Hospital.

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

The solicitor for Tusla - Patrick McClean - said the DNA test would assist in establishing parentage and Gardaí could compare this with the data base to ensure the mother is actually the biological parent if and when she comes forward.

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

The child had suffered some adverse effects by being left in the open and she required care and attention. Provision now had to be made for the child’s medical needs and Judge Toal granted the interim care order for the next 28 days.