SASKATOON -- The discovery of an dead infant in a Saskatoon recycling bin has prompted a non-profit agency to move ahead with its plan for a safe place for women to anonymously give up a newborn.

Katelyn Roberts is executive director of Sanctum Care Group, which operates a home for pregnant women who are HIV positive or at-risk of having their baby apprehended because of addictions or homelessness.

She says the agency announced plans in September to offer a private space at the home where women could leave an infant without having to provide identification.

Roberts says Saskatchewan's Ministry of Social Services didn't support the initiative and requested that it be put on hold to study whether the service was needed.

She says Sanctum Care is still waiting for a decision, but in light of last week's discovery, feels it's time to move ahead on its own.

Police have said they believe the infant was a newborn, and investigators are looking for the mother who they say may be physically and emotionally vulnerable.

"We do know that mothers in distress sometimes unsafely abandon their children because they don't feel that have any other option," Roberts said Wednesday.

"Because there currently is no way in our city to safely and anonymously relinquish care of your child, we felt it necessary to fill that gap."

Roberts said Sanctum Care is working hard to get the service available by next year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 13, 2019.