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Page last updated at 23:57 GMT, Monday, 30 January 2006

Brazil baby sparks adoption rush

Baby girl in hospital after being rescued from a plastic bag in Brazil
The baby's mother has been charged with attempted murder

Crowds of people have mobbed a hospital in Brazil hoping to adopt a baby girl who was rescued on Saturday from a black plastic bag floating in a lake.

The hospital in Belo Horizonte has been inundated with offers to adopt the two-month-old and telephone lines are jammed, officials said.

Amateur footage of the baby's rescue was broadcast on Brazilian TV, sparking the huge public interest.

The baby's mother was arrested on Sunday but denies attempted murder.

Police said Simone Cassiano da Silva put the baby into a bag, placed her on a wooden board and set her adrfit on Pampulha Lake, 340km (210 miles) north of Rio de Janeiro.

The 27-year-old denied abandoning her baby and said she gave her to a group of homeless people because she did not have enough money to raise the child.

"I couldn't stay with her," da Silva told AP Television News.

"I asked them to leave the baby in some place for me, because I did not want to see it," she said.

Da Silva was arrested after workers at the hospital's maternity ward told police the child had been born there.

The baby was released into the care of local child protection authorities on Monday.

A hospital spokewoman said it was up to the Juvenile Court to decide whether the girl goes to a family or to a shelter.

SEE ALSO
Baby found in bag in Brazil lake
29 Jan 06 |  Americas
Country profile: Brazil
17 Nov 05 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Brazil
05 Nov 05 |  Country profiles

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