A DuPage County judge on Monday formally severed the legal rights of an Asian refugee to the son she abandoned as a newborn on the ground outside her Wheaton apartment.
The ruling by Judge Robert Anderson terminates the parental rights of 27-year-old Nunu Sung to the now 2 1/2-year-old boy she left under bushes in 2009 after secretly giving birth to him.
Anderson’s decision allows the boy’s foster family to move to adopt the youngster, who was named "Joshua" by hospital staffers who cared for him after his birth early on June 12, 2009.
But attorneys for Sung -- a refugee from Myanmar who was living with relatives in Wheaton -- said they will appeal the ruling in the unusual and long-running custody case.
"She wasn’t going to get justice in DuPage County from the beginning," said Jennifer Wiesner, one of Sung’s attorneys.
In his ruling, Anderson said it was in the best interests of the child to remain with the suburban foster family now raising him. His foster parents testified during weeks of hearings that they want to adopt the child.
"The only real family this child has known is the foster family," Anderson said.
The baby spent at least 1 1/2 hours lying on the ground in 50-degree temperatures before being discovered by a neighbor and his dog.
Sung pleaded guilty in 2010 to lying to police investigating the case. The plea agreement called for her to serve the maximum three-year prison term but also banned prosecutors from moving to end her parental rights to the boy.
She was paroled last month but remains in custody while her immigration status is reviewed.
After the baby’s court-appointed guardian moved to terminate Sung’s rights to the baby, prosecutors stepped into the case and presented evidence that Sung’s rights to the baby be severed.
Their action violates the terms of Sung’s plea agreement, her attorneys have said.