Baby Girl Dies Just Two Months After Being Adopted By San Diego Gay Rights Activist

The Publica Team

A newborn baby girl is dead after being abandoned in the back of a hot vehicle for several hours. Diana Sofia De Los Santos, who had just been adopted two months prior to her death, was found unresponsive in an SUV outside her parents’ home on June 13.

Diana was born in Arizona in April, and had been matched to Romer and Jayson De Los Santos, a gay couple from San Diego County, California, who had been actively seeking a newborn child to adopt. Romer and Jayson had only begun their search in November after posting a profile on an adoption website, advertising themselves as the loving parents of another adopted child – a young boy.

“Our hearts and home are open to providing more love to another amazing child,” they wrote on the profile. “We want our children to grow up full of memories of playing on the beach, building sandcastles, making friends, biking to the park, going on Hawaiian cruises and learning how to raise foster kittens.”

Romer is known for being active in the local gay rights scene, and was formerly the co-chair of San Diego LGBT Pride. He served in the leadership role for 3 years from 2013 to 2016 after previously having volunteered with the organization since 2007. During that time, he boasts that he “doubled the size of the Board of Directors within a year and improved its diversity in age, race, gender, and gender identity.”

On April 11, the couple took Diana back to their city of Santee. The speed at which Romer and Jayson were able to adopt the newborn girl has raised concerns, as the average time to complete the adoption process babies is one year or longer, with newborns in particular being in high demand.

According to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office, Diana was found unresponsive in the SUV outside her parents’ home at about 12:20 am on June 13. She had reportedly been left in the car for several hours in 63F (17C) weather by the time a family member found her and called 911. The baby girl was rushed to hospital but did not survive.

The temperatures inside the car may have reached 115F (46C) or higher. The body’s organs begin to shut down at prolonged exposure to 107F (39C).

Vehicular heatstroke occurs when a child dies due to being left – intentionally or unintentionally – in a hot car. A child’s body can overheat three to five times faster than an adult’s body, making them highly susceptible to the condition.

At the present time, it is unclear how Diana was forgotten in the car or by who, and no charges have been filed against Romer or Jayson in the girl’s death. The investigation is ongoing.

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