The Chicago Family Law Blog

Newborn Infant Left At Gerarld Croarkin's Doorstep

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Authorities reported a newborn baby was found on the doorstep of a Patrolman Gerald Croarkin’s home in northwest Indiana. The infant, a 5-pound 15-ounce girl, had been wrapped in a blanket and fleece sweatshirt, placed inside a cardboard box, and even had her umbilical cord still attached and unclamped.

Investigators presume she was born only a few hours prior to being left with the Croarkins, according to the Chicago Tribune. Merrilliville Detective George Fields said it was around 7 degrees outside when Gerarld Croarkin’s wife, Angie, found the infant that evening. The baby girl, whom nurses have named Olivia, is currently being cared for at a local hospital and appears to be healthy.

Under Indiana's safe haven law, mothers may leave a baby who is no more than 45 days old with law enforcement at a fire house, police station, or emergency room without facing any criminal penalty. But leaving a child outside an officer's home, as in Olivia's case, does not follow the requirements of the safe haven law.

In Illinois, like Indiana, a newborn infant who is 30 days old or less may be left at a hospital, fire or police station, or emergency medical facility. The parent relinquishing his or her baby may remain anonymous and not be followed or pursued, but he or she terminates his or her parental rights with respect to the infant.

Fields said investigators are currently looking for Olivia's mother but are not focused on prosecuting the parents during this time. "It's very likely (the mother) needs medical attention herself right now," said Fields. "It does not appear she delivered at a hospital, and there is risk of infections (after giving birth) in the way she did."

To learn more about safe haven law or terminating parental rights, seek legal counsel from an experienced Illinois family law attorney or visit the Related Resources links for general information.

Related Resources:

  • Terminating Parental Rights (FindLaw)
  • Infant Safe Haven Laws (Child Welfare Information Gateway)
  • The Adoptability Of Abandoned Babies (FindLaw's Writ)
  • Adoption: Resources (FindLaw)

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