PORTLAND – A baby who was born in a Logan Airport bathroom stall and left for dead in the toilet bowl has been placed in his grandparents’ custody in South Portland.
A Massachusetts judge agreed last month to allow 7-month-old Benjamin Robert Angell-Clifton to live with Mark and Lee Angell. The baby had been with a foster family in Massachusetts.
The court also gave the baby’s mother and father, Kelly Angell and Graeme Clifton, permission for supervised visits. They are living together in the Portland area.
“We think it’s going well, we think it’s going in the right direction,” said David Winslow, a spokesman for the Maine Department of Human Services. “But this is a very serious case and one we’re charged with keeping a very close eye on.”
Winslow said both parents are going through counseling and seem committed to being a part of the child’s life.
A hearing on long-term custody of the baby was postponed from last week until mid-January.
Kelly Angell, 21, was given a 17-month suspended sentence in September after a judge found her guilty of child abandonment and allowing injury to a child.
She was accused of giving birth to the baby May 26, wrapping him in toilet paper and leaving him for dead in a toilet bowl. A cleaning woman discovered the baby while Angell attempted to board a jet to England to visit Clifton, a 21-year-old computer science student at East Anglia University.
Angell told authorities she thought the baby was dead after she gave birth, but witnesses said they heard it crying while Angell was still in the bathroom.
The full-term baby spent five days in a Boston hospital, where he was treated for hypothermia and pneumonia.
Human Services and a court-appointed investigator advised the Massachusetts court in June that they believed Angell’s parents would provide adequate care. But the judge at that time decided not to place the child with the grandparents.
“I assume there were other factors, besides simply the adequacy of the care,” said Winslow. “What we sent down was only one piece of information.”
The long-term custody of Benjamin will be determined by the Massachusetts court, and Winslow did not rule out the possibility that he would live with Angell and Clifton. “This is obviously very unusual,” he said. “We have to be confident that a placement is safe and appropriate.”