updated 9/10/2009 10:47:51 AM ET 2009-09-10T14:47:51

A Texas man is claiming to be the father of a newborn boy who was abandoned at a church in Italy several weeks ago.

Florence Police Chief Giampaolo Monastra said Thursday that the man sent police an e-mail saying he believed his girlfriend gave birth while visiting Italy with her family and left the newborn in the church, where a nun found the child July 29.

Italian authorities are expected to carry out a DNA test to establish paternity.

Carmelite nuns said they noticed a woman with a baby praying shortly before the boy was found. The baby was taken to hospital for temporary care.

Monastra said investigators will decide whether to prosecute the woman, if she is the mother, for child abandonment.

More on: Italy

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