UPPER DARBY – Within hours after a newborn baby was found on the doorstep of an Upper Darby home Tuesday afternoon, police say they've received dozens of phone calls asking about adopting the child.
But along with helping the baby girl, police still want to know who would abandon a baby on someone's porch in the midst of a 90-degree heat wave.
Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said they have some leads that their investigators are following, but there is nothing concrete. For now it's an ongoing investigation.
Police believe the baby was left on the side porch of a home on the 100 block of Englewood Road sometime between 9 a.m., when the homeowner reported putting the trash out, and about 12:45 p.m. when she was found.
According to Chitwood, of the approximately 50 calls his department has fielded concerning the newborn, at least 48 of them were from people asking about adopting the child.
"Obviously, the police department is not an adoption agency," he said. "Children and Youth Services will make that call. But the outpouring of community response has been unbelievable of people wanting to help the baby."
The baby, whose umbilical cord had been cut, was transported to Delaware County Memorial Hospital, where the tot continues to recover.
Although the baby is OK and safe, police still want to find her parents.
"The situation is sad, somebody needs some help," he said. "You don't take a newborn baby and just leave it on a porch. You just don't do it."
Chitwood went on to mention the Newborn Protection Act, which allows the mother of a child the ability to drop off a healthy infant under 28 days of age at a hospital, police station, or fire station without fear of being charged with a crime.
Now, the mother could be facing several charges, including endangering the welfare of a child, Chitwood said.
Both the Upper Darby police station and a fire station are just a few blocks from the home where the baby was found.
"If they took the effort to cut the baby's umbilical cord, why not just go to a local hospital and give the baby up," the superintendent said.
The girl was estimated to be just a few hours old and was reported to have been in good health. The child was found wrapped in a blanket.
Police said the baby was taken to Delaware County Hospital and was doing fine.
The day after the baby was found, neighbors living in the area of the home say it was hard to believe a mother could do something like leave a newborn baby.
Sean Smith, who lives two doors away from the home where the baby was found, described the child as a beautiful baby and it was unbelievable that someone would leave a child in the heat.
"Who, as a mother, would leave an infant in the hot sun?" Smith said. "You can always just take the baby to a police station and drop her off."
Smith said when he saw the baby, she was crying, but was clean and appeared to be OK.
"The baby was clean, and like I said, the baby was beautiful. I couldn't get past how beautiful the baby was," Smith said.
Smith offered the notion that maybe someone was watching over the child.
"But at the end of the day, God is good," Smith said.
Vaishali Kapoor, a neighbor who lives across the street from where the baby was found, said she was shocked when she first learned about the child being found. She learned about it after returning home from work and seeing the police and news vehicles parked along the street.
"It is very, very shocking," Kapoor said. "Yesterday I couldn't sleep properly because all this was on my mind."
Other neighbors had similar reactions to the discovery.
Hovsep Ghazarian said he has lived in the neighborhood for over three decades and never expected to hear such a report.
"We have lived here 35 years and have never seen anything like this, we were shocked," he said.