Maury Z. Levy

Posts Tagged ‘babies for sale’

The Baby Peddlers

In Philadelphia Magazine (1970-1980) on September 15, 2009 at 11:38 pm


[Author’s note: This story led to major Congressional hearings in DC, led by Sen. Walter Mondale. The hearings resulted in new legislation. The story also won some awards.]

SHE ALWAYS THOUGHT it was a figure of speech. She’d hoped that one bearing her name wouldn’t have to lose its life. They were such lovable little things, so round and soft and white. But deep in the dawning of a cold Monday morning, the rabbit died. Crazy rabbit.

It created certain problems because Carrie and Jimmy weren’t married, even though they had told all of their relatives and most of their friends that they were, just to avoid the hassles. But when Jimmy found out about the baby, he didn’t exactly run out of the apartment to buy a box of cigars. He just ran out.

Carrie was 20 years old, a very thin girl with very small bones and very blue eyes and a head of blonde hair that was long and straight and fine. She didn’t tell the doctor at the clinic about her drug problem, even when he asked her about the scar across her right wrist. She didn’t want him to know that she’d been committed twice. She didn’t want them taking this baby away from her.

The thought of abortion had crossed her mind. It had certainly lodged in Jimmy’s. Carrie had always been pro-abortion too. In theory, for somebody else maybe. But this was her baby growing inside and she was going to have it and she was going to keep it and she was going to mother it. And then the lawyer called.

Rob and Sharon Josephson (not their real names) were in their late 20s. They’d been married six years. Rob had gone to Drexel and was working now for Westinghouse. Sharon had gone to Penn and then transferred out to Temple when the money got tight. She taught third grade now not far from where they lived in a small single home in Pine Valley.

They’d been trying to have a baby for over four years now. They’d spent a lot of time in their bedroom and a lot of time in doctors’ offices finding out why the stuff in the bedroom wasn’t working. And when it became clear that they couldn’t have a baby born to them, they decided to adopt one.

They started by calling some local adoption agencies. They were told that there were no healthy white infants available, and that even if one came up, they’d be down very far on a list of people who’d been waiting for months and years.

They tried half a dozen other agencies and got pretty much the same answer. They were getting very frustrated at the whole process. And then, late one night, this lawyer called.

THE LAWYER TOLD CARRIE that he’d gotten her name from “a friend of mine.” He thought maybe he could help her, since he understood she wasn’t going to abort the baby. “We’ve got some very fine parents who’d really love to have a baby like yours,” he told her. “They’d give it a very good home.”

Carrie told him she wanted to keep the baby. “Look,” he told her, “I know more about you than you think. I know you’re not   Read the rest of this entry »

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