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Baby Born in Restroom During Black-Tie Party

April 17, 1985

WASHINGTON (AP) _ An 18-year-old woman attending a weekend debutante ball excused herself from the festivities and gave birth to a 5-pound girl in a nearby restroom, the Washington Post reported today.

The newspaper said District of Columbia officials quoted a police report on the incident as saying a housekeeper found the baby abandoned in a trash container shortly after the birth in a downtown hotel.

Police said laws dealing with abandoned children prohibit release of details. But the Post quoted the city commissioner of social services, Audrey Rowe, as saying the case had been been turned over to the Child Protective Services Division.

She said the mother would not be charged with neglect. ″We anticipate the child will go home with the grandparents,″ Ms. Rowe told the paper.

The 18-year-old’s mother, who was also at the ball, became concerned when her daughter had not returned from the restroom after 25 minutes, the newspaper said. The young woman’s mother found her daughter in a restroom stall, but the daughter said she was fine and the mother returned to the festivities.

Minutes later, however, the mother went to check on her daughter but could not get in because police, who had been summoned after the housekeeper called for help, had the area blocked off. The woman found her daughter in an upstairs restroom and the two returned to the ball.

Sometime later, still at the hotel, the young woman told her mother she had given birth. Police had the new mother taken to a hospital.

The paper quoted one official as saying the young woman’s mother had not known her daughter was pregnant.

The ball was a debutante cotillion sponsored by the Prince George’s County, Md., chapter of Links, Inc., a social and service organization of black professional women.

Links chapter president Gloria Massie said she heard had rumors after the party that a baby was found in the hotel, but said she did not know who the new mother was or whether she had been a guest at the ball, which was attended by about 500 people.

The baby was listed in good condition at Children’s Hospital.

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