Philippines searches for mother of newborn left in plane

MANILA Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:32am EDT

1 of 2. Nurses check the heartbeat of a newborn baby found inside the lavatory of an airplane, at Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport September 12, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

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MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine officials on Monday were searching for the mother of a newborn boy found in the bin of a toilet onboard a Gulf Air flight to Manila.

Officials said the newborn was in good health after being found on a flight from Bahrain on Sunday.

"The baby is now under our care," Celia Yangco, an official of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, told Reuters.

"We'll look for his mother. We're giving his mother a chance to come forward."

Octavio Lina, assistant general manager of Ninoy Aquino International Airport, said authorities have started looking at Gulf Air's flight manifest to help identify the boy's mother.

Airline cleaners found the 3-kg boy, who still had his umbilical cord attached, covered with blood and wrapped in tissue paper.

Radio stations in Manila were swamped with offers to adopt the boy, who officials have called George Francis, using the initials of Gulf's airline code, but Yangco said the government wants to try to find the biological mother first.

"We have a process to follow before the baby is declared abandoned and set for adoption," Yangco said, adding state policy is to keep the family together.

(Reporting by Manny Mogato; Editing by John Mair and Rebecca Conway)

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