People have been buying things off of Craigslist for years: furniture, clothes, toys … and apparently even babies. That’s right, would-be parents are now posting ads for babies on the popular website.
For many, it works.
After years of taking fertility medication to try to conceive, Tracey and Dan Citron of Minnesota decided to put a post on Craigslist, saying that they were looking to adopt a child. Pregnant Tammy Nelson responded, and the couple now has a healthy little boy named Ben.
Tracey admits that they way they went about getting their son was a bit unorthodox. “People do sort of give us a look, like, ‘on Craigslist? How can that be?’ ” The mother said.
While people have been using classified ads in newspapers to find adoptive children, parents are broadening their horizons by finding potential birth mothers online.
Yahoo Shine! reported Piper Weiss has been investigation the world of private adoption for years. “Craigslist and other online resources put the power back in parents and birth moms’ hands to some degree,” Weiss said. “It allows them to connect with each other, potentially, but also it forces them to be their own filter and kind of be their own experts in the matter. There are a lot of risks and a lot of reward to that.”
There are, however, risks.
New York couple Megan and Steve learned the hard way. After successfully adopting their son Aiden, they started advertising online for another child. They were contacted by a woman named Kimberly Persuitte, who claimed to be pregnant.
“It was a bit sketchy because there was so much flip-flopping in between,” Megan said. “They wanted to be independent and they wanted to support themselves and then half an hour later we would get a phone call, like, ‘You know what, we really need that $50 for gas and by the way I’m going to need that weekly because my doctor’s office is really far away.’”
Barb Sternberg , Megan and Steve’s adoption coordinator, discovered that Persuitte had allegedly been convicted of sending bad checks, identity theft and burglary.
“When somebody is pushing money, money, money, I needed it yesterday, it’s instantly a concern,” Sternberg said. “I always tell my clients the second someone starts asking for money in the first conversation, that’s a big red flag.”
Megan and Steven broke off contact with Persuitte, and the couple maintains that they never gave the woman money. Still, the emotional roller coaster of finding a baby and then losing it is not easy. Although the couple is still looking, Megan says that the whole process sometimes “takes a toll.”
For people like Tammy Nelson, who was living in a modified chicken coop with her abusive husband and son, the Citron’s were a godsend. After her husband allegedly forced her to become pregnant with a second child, she was looking for a way out. She turned to the internet.
“When I Googled it, I put adoption in Phoenix and the first was a Craigslist for Dan and Tracey, it was literally that quick,” Nelson said. “I said, ‘Hi, I’m pregnant, and I need help and this is the situation, what do you think?’ And she said, ‘I’m really happy you called us.’ It was perfect.”
The mother was financially dependent on her husband, the father of her son, Ryder.
“I remember one time feeding my son the dust out of the Rice Krispies box,” she said. “It was the last bowl of cereal we had and I didn’t know where our next meal was going to come from. I was literally living out of a chicken coop that was converted to an apartment, a house. Those were the kinds of living situations his father had put us in.”
While Nelson has since gotten her life on track, she says it is still hard to see Ben on Facebook, taking gymnastics classes and doing things that she couldn’t provide for her first son, Ryder.
But for this one family, placing an ad on Craigslist changed all their lives for the better.
Would you put your child up for adoption on Craigslist, or post an ad to adopt a child?