The infant is currently in the care of the New York City Administration for Children's Services

By Tara Fowler
November 30, 2015 12:00 PM
Courtesy Fr. Christopher Ryan Heanue

An unidentified couple that attends the church where a newborn baby was found abandoned in a manger last Monday is hoping to adopt the child.

“They’ve already been through the process of adopting a child,” Paul Cerni, an office manager at the Holy Child Jesus Church, tells PEOPLE of the pair. “They were looking to adopt a second when this happened.”

He adds: “In a way, it’s kind of a blessing.”

Cerni was the second person to see the baby boy, after a custodian found the infant wrapped in towels inside of the manger in a church’s nativity scene.

“I was just amazed,” he says of laying eyes on the child. “I couldn t believe that somebody would leave a newborn in a church.”

Police have since located the infant’s mother, who will not face charges for abandoning the child.

“The mother followed the spirit of New York’s ‘Safe Haven’ Law, which allows a parent to leave a child not older than 30 days with an appropriate person or in a suitable location where the parent promptly notifies an appropriate person of the child’s location,” Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said in a statement last Wednesday.

“It appears that the mother, in this case, felt her newborn child would be found safely in the church and chose to place the baby in the manger because it was the warmest place in the church, and further she returned the following morning to make certain that the baby had been found,” he added.

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Cerni says he’s happy the mother, whose name isn’t being released, won’t face charges. “She meant well. She did bring him to a safe place where he could be found fairly quickly,” he says, adding that he estimates that the baby was outside for about 25 minutes before he was discovered.

Now, Cerni just wants to see the child go to a loving family. “We were glad that the baby was fine, and I’m happy that the mother was found,” he says. “I wasn’t very hopeful about that after examining our surveillance video. It’s great that she’s okay too.”

The baby boy is currently in the care of the New York City Administration for Children’s Services. Parents who are interested in becoming foster/adoptive parents for the child or another child can call 877-676-WISH (9474).

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