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Parents negligent in abandonment, state says

SOUTHAMPTON -- A state investigation into the abandonment of a newborn girl found in critical condition outside a town fire station determined that the infant's parents both acted negligently.

No charges have yet been filed against the 17-year-old mother, who was identified by police a few days after the baby was discovered by a passerby July 16, or the unidentified father.

Any charges that result would be filed once prosecutors and city police complete additional reviews.

State Department of Social Services investigators found negligence on the part of both parents, agency spokeswoman Denise Monteiro told the Daily Hampshire Gazette on Friday.

The infant, named Baby Angelique by state workers, is reported now in good health and living with a foster family. The baby will be placed with a member of the mother's family when the relative can clear up a scheduling conflict and provide daytime supervision of the baby, Monteiro said.

''The baby is gaining a little weight," Monteiro said. ''She's still a very tiny, little thing, but compared to the first few hours of her life, she's doing great."

After she was discovered abandoned, the infant was first taken to Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton by local fire officials. The baby was then transferred to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, where she was treated for blood loss due to an unclamped umbilical cord and hypothermia.

Police and state officials have not released details of what led to the baby's abandonment.

Similar cases led Massachusetts to become the 47th state to adopt a so-called ''safe haven" law, under legislation signed Friday. Parents will be able to leave unwanted newborns at hospitals, police departments, and staffed fired departments without fear of legal repercussions under the legislation, which was adopted three years after it was first proposed.

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