Boston Globe

Friday, June 2, 2000

Logan baby to stay with DSS

Judge gives infant's father, mother's family visitation rights

By Marcella Bombardieri, Globe Staff
Boston Globe

A Juvenile Court judge yesterday allowed the Department of Social Services to keep custody of the baby boy Kelly Angell gave birth to last week in a Logan Airport bathroom and left in a toilet before trying to board a flight to England.

Angell's boyfriend, Graeme D. Clifton, and her parents will have visitation rights while the child is in foster care, Judge Paul D. Lewis ruled. Angell, 20, of South Portland, Maine, is undergoing psychological evaluation at Bridgewater State Hospital.

Clifton, the baby's father, and Lee and Mark Angell, Kelly's parents, spent most of the day in a closed Juvenile Court hearing seeking custody of the boy.

The baby was represented by his own court-appointed lawyer, John Fox, who said the child has been named Benjamin. He was in good condition at Boston Medical Center yesterday, still recovering from pneumonia, said DSS spokeswoman Carol Yelverton.

DSS - along with Maine's social services agency - will evaluate whether Mark and Lee Angell's home would be an appropriate environment for Benjamin, Yelverton said.

Social workers from DSS have been meeting with Clifton and the Angells throughout the week, ''trying to help them, trying to listen to them,'' Yelverton said.

DSS and the family will return to court to reevaluate the infant's placement on June 29.

The question of whether the baby's grandparents should have custody is complicated by the uncertainty of Angell's fate. If she is released from Bridgewater after a 20-day evaluation, she could be freed on $25,000 cash bail and return home to South Portland.

When asked how the possibility of Angell's release might affect the custody case, Yelverton answered: ''You've got the big-picture question. The big-picture question is the long-term safety of this child.''

Angell has been charged with child abandonment and assault and battery.

She gave birth while waiting for a Virgin Atlantic flight to see Clifton, a college student in Norwich, England, and discuss the pregnancy. Angell lived at home in South Portland and attended college there.

Authorities say Angell delivered the baby and broke the umbilical cord with her fingers before placing him in a toilet and covering him with toilet paper.

A restroom attendant discovered the child shortly after, and found doctors in the terminal who gave him medical attention.

This story ran on page B5 of the Boston Globe on 6/2/2000.

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