Iowa baby dies after teen mom changes decision to give him up for adoption

Baby Gabriel

After his teen mom changed her mind about giving him up for adoption, a four-month-old baby died while he was in the care of his 17-year-old father.

The 16-year-old mother had agreed in September 2013 to give her baby up to Rachel and Heidi McFarland of Ankeny, Iowa, according to our sister station WHO-TV. The couple took supported the mother financially through her pregnancy and went to every doctor’s appointment with her, but the teen mom later changed her mind about the adoption.

That’s when the McFarlands said they had no choice but to return Gabriel to his birth mother in March 2014.

Police said the mother left the baby with his father, Drew Weehler-Smith, so she could run errands Tuesday, April 22, 2014. A witness reported seeing Weehler-Smith leave the apartment without the baby and Gabriel was found, unresponsive, in a chair according to the Des Moines Register.

Weehler-Smith was reportedly charged with neglect of a dependent person. Police said additional charges were possible in the case, pending the results of an autopsy on the baby.


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