Darlene Carroll didn’t think it could be true. When her 14-year-old son Malik told her that there was a newborn baby on their porch, she thought he was playing a prank.

However, after she stepped inside, she learned it was no joke. She cradled the infant as she contacted 911.

Screenshot/WSMV-TV

Carroll told WSMV-TV:

“He just cuddled up in my arms, like he knew me. He just sucked on his thumb, never whimpered.”

Carroll runs a daycare center in her home, and she believes that the infant’s mother knew that prior to leaving him on the doorstep. Carroll’s husband is also well known in the community. Charles Carroll is the pastor of New Creations Deliverance Ministries in Annapolis, Maryland.

A spokeswoman for the Annapolis Police Department, Amy Miguez, said the infant was mere hours old when he was abandoned. Had Carroll’s son not gone outside, she said, no one would have suspected the infant’s presence. He didn’t let out a single cry until he got his routine vaccinations at the hospital.

The baby is Latino and was wrapped in a “small purple women’s shirt and a black Adidas hooded jacket with red stripes on the sleeves.”

Screenshot/WSMV-TV

According to WBAL-TV, Miguez said police believe the mother may be a child herself:

“We’re touching bases with the schools even though they’re out of session. If you have a neighbor or a friend who was pregnant, and now they’re not, that would be a clue and there’s no baby around them, but it situations like this maybe someone was just wearing heavier clothing, bigger clothing, didn’t announce the pregnancy.”

Even though Miguez said she cannot guarantee the mother won’t be charged, the department is asking for her to come forward in case she needs medical attention.

Screenshot/WSMV-TV

Police Chief Scott Baker reminds people of Maryland’s Safe Haven law, which states:

[A] distressed parent who is unable or unwilling to care for their infant can safely give up custody of their baby, no questions asked. Newborns can be left at hospitals or law enforcement stations. […]

A parent (or another adult with the approval of the mother) has up to 10 days from the birth to invoke Safe Haven anonymously and safely leave a baby with a responsible adult at a designated location. A person who invokes Safe Haven is immune from civil liability or criminal prosecution provided the child is unharmed.

The law protects mothers who are unable or unprepared to provide for their infant. It allows children to grow up in a permanent, stable family, rather than with someone who cannot care for them properly.

Each state has its own version of the Safe Haven law, differing in where and how long one has to drop off their baby.

For more information, visit the Safe Haven website.

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