A baby was abandoned just inside the door of a St. Paul church Wednesday night.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said a maintenance worker at the Cathedral of Saint Paul found the newborn following the 5:15 p.m. Mass.
The baby boy was naked, wrapped in a blanket and a woman’s hooded sweatshirt, and was laying in a laundry basket, according to The Catholic Spirit which is the official newspaper of the Archdiocese.
Apparently the maintenance worker – Nathan Leonhardt – didn't see the baby at first. But then he heard a noise, moved the blanket and found the infant. The baby appeared to have just recently been born because he still had blood on him.
Leonhardt brought the baby to Father John Ubel who called the police.
While they waited for authorities, the Star Tribune says Ubel baptized the baby and named him Nathan John.
A news release from Thursday afternoon said the infant was taken to a local hospital and will be looked after by Ramsey County Child Protection Services.
"I am profoundly grateful that this beautiful baby is healthy and safe," Father Ubel said. "And that whomever dropped him off at the Cathedral felt that this was a safe place where he would receive the care he needs."
According to The Catholic Spirit, police say the baby is healthy, weighs about 5 pounds and was likely born premature.
Minnesota's Safe Haven Law
In Minnesota, it's perfectly OK for mothers to drop off their babies at a "safe place." That's according to a Safe Haven Law that the Star Tribune says was first passed in 2000.
Then in 2012, the law was expanded so that mothers can leave babies with hospitals or other health care providers – no questions asked. The baby has to be less than a week old, though.
Mothers can also call an ambulance to pick up the child.
By Minnesota law, the safe place can't ask for the mother's identity. They can ask about medical history, but the mom doesn't have to say anything.
Although churches are not designated "safe places" in Minnesota, officials say they are not looking for the mom. In fact, they encourage her to seek medical attention since it appears she gave birth without a doctor's help. Officials say she doesn't need to worry about criminal charges.
The Minnesota Department of Human Services says about 22 newborns have been surrendered this way since 2013.