Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Retired Cop Reunited With The Newborn He Rescued From A Dumpster 25 Years Ago

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
Your donation today keeps LAist independent, ready to meet the needs of our city, and paywall free. Thank you for your partnership, we can't do this without you.

A police officer who rescued an infant from a dumpster 25 years ago got the chance to meet the man that infant has grown up to be. Robin Barton is now 25 years old, but he almost never made it past a few hours. In November of 1989, his mother abandoned her son only hours after he was born, placing him in a dumpster in an alley, ABC reports.

Michael Buelna was an officer with the Santa Ana Police Department at the time. Buelna was responded to a stabbing in the area when he heard noises coming from the dumpster, according to KTLA. He sifted through the trash and located the baby, weighing only 4 pounds and 2 ounces with the umbilical cord attached. The baby was barely breathing, but Buelna brought the infant to a nearby paramedic and they were able to save his life. The paramedic suggested Buelna name him, and Buelna suggested "Adam."

Buelna initially wanted to adopt the baby, but a couple from Orange County, Elizabeth Barton and Daniel Fernandez, ended up adopting him instead. They named him Robin Barton.

Barton's mother was later identified 19-year-old Sarina Diaz after police released a sketch of their suspect. She was sentenced to three years in prison for attempted murder.

Support for LAist comes from

Buelna said he had always hoped he'd run into 'Baby Adam' again. The pair hugged when they met, and Fernandez said he was grateful for the chance to shake Buelna's hand and thank him.

Buelna and Barton's reunion sparked Barton's biological father, Marcos Meza, to identify himself, CBS reports. Meza told Barton on Sunday that he had an affair with Barton's mother, but didn't know about the baby until he was questioned by police. His parental rights were dismissed and the adoption records sealed, so Meza never got a chance to meet his son until now. He said he'd been hoping to meet his son for many years, and also let Barton know that he has five half-siblings, all sisters, and that Diaz was deported to Mexico after being released from jail. Barton may soon be reunited with the same woman that abandoned him decades ago, but he's not vengeful and instead seeks closure.

"I'm not angry or upset with [Diaz]," Barton said, "and I forgive her because she was a young woman in a very compromising position."