He was abandoned by his mother, but a one-week-old baby found in a church nativity scene is not unwanted.
The tiny boy, who was deposited at a New York City Catholic altar with his umbilical cord still attached, has generated an avalanche of good will. And a couple who attend the Holy Child Jesus Church in Queens has stepped forward to adopt him.
The man and woman, who already have one adopted child, are in the process of trying to adopt a second and have cleared all the necessary background checks, according to Paul Cerni, an officer manager at the church.
They don’t wish to be identified or to speak with the media. “They want to keep a low profile,” Cerni told INSIDE EDITION.
The parish has been deluged with phone calls since a janitor found the little baby boy swaddled in towels and lying in the church’s manger one week ago. And like the baby Jesus who normally occupies the makeshift crib, news of the infant brought an outpouring of joy.
Asked how many phone calls the church has received, Cerni chuckled. “Too many to count,” he replied.
“We’ve gotten 48 emails, all wanting to adopt the child,” he said. “A lot of people have come forward, from all over the country,” he said.
Cerni was the second person to see the baby at the church, after the janitor came to tell him the manger had an unexpected occupant.
“It was kind of shock to see a baby with an umbilical cord,” Cerni said. “I called 911.”
The mother who abandoned the child will not be charged, police said.
She “followed the spirit of New York’s ‘Safe Haven’ law, which allows a person to leave a child not older than 30 days with an appropriate person or in a suitable location,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown in a statement.
Officers located the mother last week. She told officers she had returned to the church the next day to make sure the child had been found.
The church’s nativity scene is inside the church, just to the left of the altar, Cerni said. The baby was only there for about 20 minutes before the janitor found him, Cerni said.