Mary Agnes Doe, the newborn baby found abandoned last week at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Arlington, was released from Arlington Hospital yesterday and sent home with her new foster parents, officials said.
Since she was discovered Friday in a basement restroom at the church, more than 200 offers have poured in from people wanting to either adopt the infant or help her in some way, said Valerie Cuffee, supervisor of the county's Child Protective Services.
"There's been a real outpouring," Cuffee said. "Our focus now is to make sure the baby gets all the care she needs."
A search for the baby's parents will continue, Cuffee said. Despite the number of adoption offers, foster parents were enlisted in the interim because they have been certified and trained, she said.
By state law, adoption is not an option for at least three months, Cuffee said. If a parent or relative of the baby has not stepped forward in that time, a court hearing will be held to consider the best interests of the child, she said.
Cpl. Justin McNaull, an Arlington police spokesman, said police have been distributing fliers to hospitals and clinics in hopes that the baby's mother tried to get medical care after the birth.
Last night, police were planning to use their "Reverse 911" system in the search for the mother. McNaull said that police will use the computerized system to call residents in the area near the church on North Randolph Street and to play a recorded message telling them about the abandoned baby. The hope is that someone will recall recently seeing a woman who was pregnant or with a baby, he said.
A McLean woman, Veronica Weaver, 74, who was attending Friday afternoon church services, found the baby in a basket in the restroom shortly after 3 p.m. She said she had been in the same restroom before the service started and hadn't seen a baby, so church officials do not believe the child had been there long.
Cuffee said county officials are eager to learn the circumstances of the child's parents so they can help.
Mary Agnes Doe was the first newborn to be abandoned in the county in 15 years, said Cuffee, adding, "She's doing fine."