Police find mother of 'dumpster baby'

  • 2005-08-24
  • By Aaron Eglitis
RIGA - Police have identified a young mother who left her infant daughter in a garbage receptacle on Aug. 17. The woman, officials said, will be criminally prosecuted.
While under police custody, the mother reportedly cited difficult living conditions and personal problems as reasons for abandoning her daughter.

Officials have declined to reveal the identity of the woman or how she was found.

Following official procedure, a DNA test will be administered to determine if the woman is actually the mother of the infant girl. She reportedly has two other children.

The woman faces up to two years in prison or a fine totaling 40 minimum monthly wages if convicted.

The infant girl was found in a trash container on Ulbrokas Street in Riga. She was taken to the children's ward of Gailezers University Hospital, where doctors have named her Laima, which means luck in Latvian.

Ruta Steinberga, who heads the adoption department of Riga's orphan court, told the Baltic News Service that a last name has already been chosen for Laima. She declined, however, to reveal the name in order to protect the child's identity. Steinberga added that the surname was Latvian, since the girl was born in Latvia. Hospital doctors have said that Laima is healthy.

Until DNA tests prove that the detained woman is, indeed, the girl's mother, the baby will be treated as found. Officials said that official paperwork over the child's identity has already begun.

Since her story broke into the media, several interested families have come forward to adopt Laima. Taivo Trams of the Ministry of Children and Family Affairs said she could meet her new parents as early as next week.

Laima is expected to stay in the hospital for another 10 days for observation.