Mother Abandons Her Newborn at Meir Hospital

A newborn was abandoned two days ago at Meir Hospital in Kfar Sava. The mother, possibly an Arab in her 20s, disappeared 30 hours after delivering the baby, apparently because the staff discovered that the identity card she had presented belonged to another woman, a Tira resident who was previously treated at Meir.

Police are investigating all avenues, including the possibility that the mother is a Palestinian who resided in Israel illegally, or a woman who became pregnant as the result of an illicit relationship.

The hospital reported the abandonment to the police on Monday. The woman arrived at the hospital in labor on Saturday, and a short while later delivered a healthy baby girl. The newborn was taken to the neonatal ward, and the mother was transferred to the maternity ward. The hospital spokeswoman, Hagit Sharon, said yesterday that staff at the hospital lab discovered the ID ruse when a blood sample was taken from the mother for a transfusion match. When they entered the ID number into the computer, the card holder's blood type differed from that of the baby's mother.

"The hospital staff decided to ask the mother why the blood type was different, out of concern for her welfare and to prevent confusion, since a mismatched blood transfusion could end in death," Sharon said.

The next morning the woman was gone.

On Monday morning, a woman arrived at the hospital and inquired after the mother and her baby. The nurses later told police that this woman greatly resembled the photograph on the ID card the mother left at the hospital. When staff asked this woman to identify herself, she left immediately.

The hospital spokeswoman said the baby is doing fine and will remain in the neonatal ward until social services decide what to do. Even if the mother cannot be located, the baby must remain with a foster family for six months before being put up for adoption.