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Born drunk Baby

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The Times Union (Albany, NY)
October 4, 2003 Saturday THREE STAR EDITION
Born drunk, baby leaves hospital for foster care;
Glens Falls Jailed mother faces child endangerment charge; DA weighs additional legal action
A woman who gave birth a week ago to a baby after allegedly binging on White Russians went into early labor after getting into a bar
fight, according to authorities.
The infant, born five weeks early, was placed in foster care Friday after being released from Glens Falls Hospital, said Warren
County District Attorney Kate Hogan.
Stacy Lynn Gilligan, 22, had a blood alcohol content of 0.28 percent, more than three times the legal limit, when she gave birth, police said. The baby had a blood alcohol content of 0.18 percent.
Gilligan was charged with a misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child but could face additional charges as the investigation continues.
"She was so severely intoxicated," Hogan said. "She had had multiple White Russians and was involved in a physical disturbance.
Her water broke, and she went into labor."
"There was an act by the mother that endangered the life of the child. She is pumping her tainted blood into that little body," Hogan
Hogan is trying to determine what other charges, if any, Gilligan may face in this unusual case. At issue is whether Gilligan can be
charged for her acts before the child's birth.
"This is where it becomes difficult," Hogan said. "We're charging the conduct as it applies to the child. It's a gray area with respect to
the fetus. We're continuing to consult with experts. We will be making a full evaluation."
While Hogan considers the legal aspects, Glens Falls Police Detective Sgt. Kevin Conine said investigators are interviewing people
in the Daily Double bar as part of the investigation.
Meanwhile, Gilligan remains in the Warren county jail in lieu of $1,500 bail. She is scheduled to appear Tuesday in Glens Falls City
Court on the misdemeanor count, which carries a sentence of up to one year in jail upon conviction.
Social services professionals in the Capital Region have been taken aback by the circumstances of the birth.
At Glens Falls Hospital, where the delivery occurred, there had never been a report of such a case, Jayson White, a hospital spokesman, said.
"We have not seen a case to this degree," said Warren County Social Services Commissioner Robert Phelps.
Deborah Chesky, manager of social work for Bellevue Women's Hospital's Pre-Admissions Planning Program, saw the case as
"I have seen mothers high on drugs and drunk. I have never seen the baby drunk," Chesky said.
Bellevue uses its program, which is funded by the March of Dimes, to advise mothers from disadvantaged backgrounds on proper
prenatal care to prevent the risk of fetal alcohol syndrome, which can result in birth defects and behavior problems.
Gilligan is unemployed, according to police.
Hogan said that the child's future rests in the hands of Warren County Family Court. She said in the criminal proceedings that she
will seek to have the judge order Gilligan into an inpatient alcohol treatment program.
Copyright 2003 The Hearst Corporation