WENY News - DSS speaks adoption policies after baby found in a bag in Elmira

DSS speaks adoption policies after baby found in a bag in Elmira last year

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Photo taken one year ago Photo taken one year ago

ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- One year ago on Wednesday, a 7-and- a-half month old baby was found in a plastic bag near the 600 block of Walnut Street in Elmira. Police later arrested Sayre teen, Harriette Hoyt, and charged her with attempted murder in connection with the baby. WENY News went to the Chemung County Department of Social Services (DSS) to learn about their protocol when it comes to situations like last year. 

"When a child comes into foster care, it's at the very last resort," said DSS Senior Case Worker in Foster Care Adoption Home Finding Unit, Kristen Sternquist. "There's no other option. We take them into our care. We look for relatives constantly throughout the case. We do that by talking with the family. talking with the children."

Since Hoyt was from Pennsylvania; what happens when two states are involved? It starts with filling out an interstate compact, known as an ICPC. 

"So what we do is we draft up information and we send it to on to Albany, like our capital district for ICPC," said Sternquist. "Then they send it to the receiving states capital, who sends it down to the local district and then they do an assessment of that family."

From there, DSS works on finding a safe and stable home for the child, whether it be with relatives or placing the child up for adoption. Where the baby is today, and how it's doing, is classified information. Back in February, a Chemung County judge accepted Hoyt's plea deal of second degree murder. She's currently serving 9 years in state prison and 5 years of post release supervision. 

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