NEWS

Mom reclaims abandoned baby

A 17-year-old girl who abandoned her 3-month-old baby on the steps of an apartment block in Zografou, eastern Athens, on Wednesday night called police a few hours later saying she had regretted her decision and wanted her baby back. The girl, who told police she has another two children and that her husband is in jail, was detained briefly by police before being released without charge. The baby girl, transferred to the capital’s Aghia Sofia Children’s Hospital by police patrol car on Wednesday night, was yesterday undergoing medical tests. She was believed to be in good health. According to official figures, at least 60 infants are abandoned in Greece every year, most left outside apartment blocks, in hospital reception areas or in churchyards. Of these, the majority spend between four months and a year in maternity clinics waiting to be taken to special care centers which put them up for adoption. Experts say this is not good for the infants. «A hospital is not a good place for children to grow up,» Marianthi Nikolopoulou of Athens’s Elena Venizelou maternity clinic told Kathimerini. In most cases, abandoned children do not hit the headlines. The most recent case to come to light was in February when a Filipino woman abandoned her newborn infant in the central Athens district of Exarchia. The baby was taken to police by a local who said they had found it next to a trash bin. A few years ago, an infant was found in a subway station in central Athens. In 2003, another baby was discovered in a forest opposite a railway station in Amaliada in the Peloponnese.