Don't criticise abandoned child's mother: Centacare chief

Criticisms of the mother of a newborn child left outside a Melbourne hospital this week could push her "towards the edge", Centacare's Fr Joe Caddy has warned, saying that the mother needs to be invited in so as she can accept her responsibilities.

Fr Caddy said he was concerned for the welfare of the woman, who dumped her newborn baby at Dandenong Hospital on Mother's Day, the Courier-Mail reports.

The girl, dubbed Catherine by hospital staff, was found suffering mild hypothermia in a cardboard fruit box outside the hospital's psychiatric wing early Sunday.

Fr Caddy's comments followed yesterday's furore over an article in Sydney's The Daily Telegraph decrying the woman's motives for abandoning her baby under the headline: "How Could She."

"How could she? When I ask that, I understand exactly how she could," Fr Caddy said to the Nine Network.

"She feels alone. She feels marginal. She's scared. She's got a big responsibility lying in her hands and she doesn't know what to do with it.

"To push her any further to the edge is quite dangerous and we need to be inviting her in, not pushing her away."

Catherine was declared fit enough to be transferred from the Royal Children's Hospital to Dandenong Hospital yesterday, Department of Human services (DHS) spokesman Bram Alexander said today.

Criticism may silence left baby's mum (Courier-Mail, 17/5/07)

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Catholic Welfare Australia

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17 May 2007