Switched, Stolen, Black Market Babies & The Baby Brokers
Search Tip for Black Market Adoptees
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"If you call the FBI office in the state you were born, they will send
you a "Freedom of Information Act" form to fill out to see if they can
place you with being a BLACK MARKET baby. This is all new to me. I
have been searching for 22 years. I just heard of this. Hoping it
will help someone else, too. Much love for your input and helping me. "
- Nancy Sharp Strong
SWITCHED AT BIRTH
It is has been reported by different studies that 100,000 to 500,000 newborns are accidentally switched at birth every year -- and given to wrong parents! According to the 1998 Edition of the Tanderberg Report, (an annual medical study by sociologist Dr. Morton Tanderberg, and as reported by Ann Victoria in Weekly World News, p. 22, on 9-8-98), 500,000 or 1 out of every 8 babies born in American hospitals is sent home with the wrong parents. In many cases, these oversights are caught and corrected within a few days and the babies are returned to their mothers. But on the other end of the scale, Dr. Tanderberg says that in some overcrowded facilities, particularly in large metropolitan areas like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, the number of switched babies could be considerably higher -- possibly as high as 3 out of 8. This is probably why the tv soap operas and talk shows never run out of of "switched at birth" stories.
12-2-92, BABY SWITCH WON'T BE REVERSED. San Francisco Chronicle, A-4. Washington (AP). A Georgia woman lost a Supreme Court bid yesterday for custody of her biological son, adopted by another couple after a hospital switched him and another baby nine years ago. Jodie Denise Paul [Jodie Pope at the time of the birth] of Griffin, GA, did not find out that her son had been sent home with another couple until he was 5....when Paul and her then-husband, Walter Pope, were getting a divorce. Pope claimed he had not fathered their son, Cameron. Blood tests showed that neither was Cameron's biological parent. ...Eugene and Edith Moore of Fort Knowx, Kentucky, had adopted their natural son and named him Melvin Eugene Moore. Jodie Paul adopted Cameron and sought custody of Melvin. But a Georgia judge awarded custody of Melvin to the Moores while allowing Paul visitation rights. The judge acknowledged there were no grounds to terminate Paul's parental rights. But he said the Moores had "developed rights, too." [The Jodie Pope case was also aired on 11-1-91 on The Maury Povich Show, SWITCHED BABIES, Transcript #38.]
6-8-93, WOMAN REVEALS BIRTH SWITCH. The Evening Star, New Zealand. ...Pauline Hailes, of Papatoetoe, now 37, was born at the 10-bed Papakura obstetrics hospital on January 20, 1956. The same day, around the same time, another girl was born. Somehow the babies were switched. ....Doubts centered on Pauline Hailes' skin color. She was plainly part-Maori, yet Mr. and Mrs Hailes were pakeha. The other mother was Maori with a pakeha husband. The daughter they took home was white. When both girls were 8, Pauline's real mother raised her susicions with her hsuband and the family arranged blood tests to settle the issue. But while they confirmed their worst fears, the children stayed where they were. A mediator heard arguments from both sides before deciding nothing was to be gained by changing families at that late stage....Pauline Hailes says she feels she was robbed of a childhood..."I always felt a bit on the outside of my family--even though I was treated so well. I just always felt 'different.'"
4-7-94 MY THREE SONS. ABC News Primetime Live, Transcript #344. From New York: Chris Wallace: For 22 years, George Holmes and his twin brother Marcus, have been almost inseparable. As fraternal twins, that means they don't look much alike, they grew up together, played together, establishing a special bond. But not long ago, George and Marcus' placid world was totally disrupted with the arrival of a stranger--a young man who had no place in their life until George Holmes looked into his face and saw himself....His name is Brent Tremblay and, in time, tests would reveal the shocking truth--that he is George's identical twin brother from whom he was separated shortly after birth, while Marcus is not a biological brother at all. Today he's a young man without an identity. ....In Ottawa, Canada back in 1971, 21-year-old Laura Cain came here to give birth to twins. But she was a single mother and so, just days after her boys were born, she decided to give them up, temporarily, to foster care...But Laura married the boys' father, Randy Holmes, and two and a half months later after putting her twins into foster care, [they thought] their family was back together. ...Meanwhile Carol and Jim Tremblay were waiting to adopt a baby who finally arrived from foster care...[and somehow ended up taking home George's twin whom they named Brent.]
2-8-97, TEEN WHO WAS SWITCHED AT BIRTH GETS MARRIED. CNN online, U.S. News Story Page. Orlando, Florida - Kimberly May Twigg, who was switched at birth, married in a private ceremony Saturday. Rober Mays, who had raised Kimberly since birth, gave away the 18-year-old bride....Kimberly's biological parents, Regina and Ernest Twigg, also attended... Mays and another girl, [Arlena] the natural daughter of Robert and Barbara Mays, were born within hours of each other in 1978 at a Florida Hospital. They were switched and went home with the wrong parents. The mistake came to light a decade later when the girl raised by the Twiggs died and tests showed she was not their biological child. The Twiggs found Kimberly but after she broke off contact with them they sued for custody. Kimberly sued to "divorce" the Twiggs, and in 1993, at age 14, won the right to call Robert Mays her legal father. But then at age 15, Kimerly ran away from Mays' home and moved in with the Twiggs. She later moved into a youth shelter.
9-7-98, HOSPITAL FIRES 2 OVER BABY NURSING MIX-UP. Los Angeles Times, A-18. Massachusetts - Two nurses at Lowell General Hospital in Lowell, Massachusetts, have been fired after a mother was given the wrong baby to nurse. Two other employees were suspended after a hospital investigation into the August 17 incident. The hospital said it offered both families counseling and testing, as viruses cn be transmitted through breast milk.
12-7-98, SWITCHED SIGNALS - A Surprise Custody Fight Opens a New Chapter in the Virgina Baby-Swap Saga. PEOPLE Magazine, p. 147. ....Just days after a car accident last July 4 in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia killed Kevin Chittum, 25, and his fiance, Whitney Rogers, 19, it emerged that their 3-year old daughter, Rebecca, was not biologically theirs; she had been switched at birth with another's child. Rebecca's birth mother was a woman named Paula Johnson, 31; and the little girl Johnson had been raising, Callie, 3, was the biological daughter of Chittum and Rogers. Rather than uproot the girls from the only relatives they had ever known, the families involved had decided to leave things the way they were--Callie with Johnson and Rebecca with the parents of Chittum and Rogers. The young girls have been encouraged to remain in communication. Paula has vowed to battle anyone who tries to cut off her contact with Rebecca. ...The State of Virginia released the results of an investigation into how the switch took place. Although the report concluded that the cause of the mishap remains a mystery, no evidence was uncovered to suggest foul play....[but] the medical center has ratcheted up its security in order to avoid repetition of the switch.
2-21-99, NEWS OF PRIOR BABY MIX-UPS STUNS OFFICIALS. Los Angeles Times, front page. Orange - State Medical officials said Saturday that St. Joseph Hospital did not inform them about newsly disclosed infant mix-ups and vowed to expand their investigation into practices at the maternity ward. Barbara McGowan, a state investigator for the Department of Health Services, said she was "dumbfounded" to learn about the prior incidents, inlcuding one in which a mother breast-fed the wrong baby for 30 minutes....The action comes nearly a week after the hospital sent a newborn home with the wrong family on Valentine's Day, and a day after officials acknowledged three other infant mix-ups in the last year.
8-13-00, BROTHERS IN ARMS, CBS-60 Minutes. Sandy Jollo's and Meg Dawkins' newborn sons, Robin and Gavin, now both age 11, were accidentally switched at birth.
12-29-00 SWAPPED IN MIX-UP, TOTS HEAD TO REAL PARENTS. Destroit
Free Press (AP). Mzara Dell Vallo, Sicily -- Two girls,
swapped as newborns at Abele Ajello hospital in the Sicilian port of Trapani
a New Year's Day mix-up on January 1, 1998 -- will spend their third birthdays
together, then go to live with their biological parents...The girls are
expected to keep in touch with the couples that had begun raising them.
The mix-up was discovered after one of the families questioned why their
daughter didn't resemble either parent...The children were born 15 minutes
apart at a local hospital which has admitted the mistake.
ALLEGED "BABY DIED" CASES
As if the incidence of "accidental" baby switches weren't shocking enough, the Journal de Quebec, on 10-20-90, quoted the following: "In response to the article regarding Mrs. Solange Gagnon....the provincial president of Mouvement Retrouvailles (Canada's equivalent to America's Open Record Movement) states "...from the 1940s to the 1960s, it is not only in Quebec that medical and religious authorities made single mothers believe their baby died in order they may be adopted without the mother's knowledge or consent. Mme. Lise Berube asked that mothers who were advised of their baby's death in an orphanage contact Social Services or Mouvement Retrouvailles....She also requested an investigation by the Justice Department."
Babies scandal in Serbia
ABDUCTIONS FROM THE CRADLE
A Series by Misa Ristovic - firstname.lastname@example.org
Is that really possible on our country's territory? Did the doctors at maternity hospitals, during the seventies and the eighties, stole and sold babies formerly proclaimed dead? Has "the baby mafia" peacefully been doing its dirty work in our country for the last couple of decades, buying newborn babies and selling them to other parents, who can't have children, for large amounts of foreign currencies? Is this "business", which the people in white robes take part in, going on, even today, at clinics for gynecology and child birth?
They found children after 30 years. In their private investigations, as they claim, 110 parents have found their long ago stolen children 77 DNA analyses have been done in Italy, Switzerland and Russia and the information is being kept for "the real" trials.
Misa Ristovic was awarded the Journalism Award "for Courage" ("Milan Pantic," 2003)
3-91, THE WOMAN WHO STOLE 5,000 BABIES. Good Housekeeping, p. 140. ...When Georgia Tann [then director of Tennesse Children's Home Society] turned to Alma [Sipple's] 10-month old baby and said "She's sick--she should see a doctor," Alma was immediately concerned...."I can get her treated free at the hospital" Georgia offered...Alma never saw her baby again. Today, she cries when she talks about how Georgia Tann called her a couple days later to say that Irma had developed pneumonia and died...she recalls begging Tann to let her see her daughter one last time, only to be told the state had "put away" the baby's remains....In fact, Irma was alive and living just across the Ohio River in Cincinnati. Now named Sandra, she was being raised by doting parents who never dreamed that the blonde, green-eyed daughter they believed they'd legally adopted had, in reality, been stolen...by Georgia Tann.....On the surface, one of America's foremost "adoption experts" in the 1940s, Tann was in reality a ruthless kidnapper who made a fortune by selling more than 5,000 babies....Joan Crawford adopted some of her four children through Georgia Tann, and June Allyson and Dick Powell adopted their daughter, Pamela, from her. When the news about Georgia's baby selling ring broke in 1950, Joan refused to comment, but Powell called the charges "vicious political sniping." By then, Georgia was dead.
10-2-92, YEARS LATER. MOM SAYS STILLBORN CHILD ALIVE. The Arizona Republic, front page. Texan files lawsuit in adoption of Phoenix Woman, Now 19. On Halloween 20 years ago, a heavily sedated woman in a hospital in Sherman Texas, was told her baby had died at birth. ....Linda Morrison Thompson of Fort Worth says she began searching for her son's death certificate and stumbled onto the truth: The boy actually was a girl, named Wendy, who had been spirited out of the hospital and is now living with a Phoenix family....The girl, Wendy Beth Glass, lives with Paul and Judith E. Glass....the sale of Wendy Glass was arranged by her natural father, Bill Morrison. The Glasses paid Morrison an undetermined amount through Dallas Attorney Albert Leviton, the lawsuit alleges.
11-7-97 MOM WANTS BABY'S GRAVE EXHUMED. (AP) Chattanooga, Tennessee - For three decades, Peggy Byous Phillips put flowers on the grave of the baby daughter she bore out of wedlock in 1962. Now she believes the only thing the grave holds is well-intentioned but hurtful lies -- and wants to have the grave exhumed to learn the truth. For two years, Ms. Phillips has been gnawed by the awful suspicion that her baby wasn't buried, as her father said, but was given up for adoption. Her fears were set in motion by her mother's stunning deathbed confession in 1995. The baby didn't die at all, Elizabeth Byous said, but was given up for adoption....With the help of relatives, Ms. Phillips has found the woman believed to be her daughter, who was adopted by friends of her aunt. That woman is jailed in Nashville. DNA tests were not conconclusive and the father refused to give a sample
12-30-97, SEPARATED TWINS GET TOGETHER AT LONG LAST. The Saginaw News (AP). Schenectady, NY - Daniel Neill speaks with a Southern drawl and Bertram Hassett sounds like a New Yorker. The twins' carnival worker parents, Bertram and Patricia Hassett, provided few clues into why Neill was put up for adoption in the summer of 1958. Bertram Hassett was told his twin died. The reasons are buried with them [the parents].
STOLEN BABIES CASES
The first infant kidnap for ransom to receive national media attention was the 1932 Lindbergh baby kidnapping. When Bruno Richard Hauptmann was arrested for allegedly doing the deed, the press spun out extra editions in every city in America. When Bruno went to court in Flemington, reporters from as far as Japan and Australia packed the press rooms. Babies are kidnapped for a number of reasons including as a commodity for its street value as high as $60-120,000. But just as often as babies are kidnapped for money, babies are also stolen to satisfy emotional needs of the abductor. From 1987 through the present, there have been reports of a what appears to be a new phenomenon of women faking pregnancy and then killing pregnant women to steal their unborn child from the womb in order to pass on the child as their own. Many missing pregnant women who have not yet been found may have met the same fate. In each case, the women had dysfunctional family relationships. Some of the known perpetrators, by state, include:
- BICA, Michele Zonko (Ravenna OH, 9-27-00)
- BOTELLO, Rosa (Brownsville, TX 1992)
- CONNER, Peggy Jo (Kittanning, PA, 3005)
- COREY, Julia A. (Worcester, MA, 7-27-09)
- CURRY-DEMUS, Andrea (Wilkensburg, PA, 2008)
- GOODSON, Effie (Okemah, OK, 12-22-03)
- GRAVES, Jennifer Irene, adoptee & child care worker (Ft. Myers, FL 6-26-02)
- HARDY, Kimmi Lynn (Keokuk, IA, 1-1-96);
- HALL, Tiffany (St.Louis, IL, 9-2006)
- KUHN, Erin (Fernley, NV, 3-2000)
- MONTGOMERY, Lisa, adoptee (Skidmore, MO, 12-16-04)
- PIERCE, Darci, adoptee (Kirkland AFB, NM, 7-7-97);
- ROBERTS, Korena Elaine, (Tigard, OR, 6-7-09)
- SALDANA, Josefina Sonia (Fresno, CA, 9-14-98)
- SMITH, Katie (attempted, Ft. Mitchell, KY, 2-10-05)
- SCOTT, Felicia (Tuscaloosa, AL 1-31-96);
- SYNHAVONG, Phienchai Sisouvanh (Kennewick, WA, 2008)
- WILLIAMS, Jacqueline (Addison, IL 11-16-95)
In "Hospitals Steal Tactic From Stores" (Los Angeles Times, 2-19-91), Bruce K. Smock, a researcher for the International Association for Hospital Security, based near Chicago, said he has kept an unofficial count of 79 child abductions since 1983; 13 of those were in 1989, the last year for which he had figures. He said he believes the actual numbers are higher because hospitals are unwilling to share information with him....Smock called the hospital kidnapping figures "very minute" in comparison with child abductions generally....Smock said that of the 79 abductions he has tracked, all but four infants were later recovered,,,All 79 cases involved a female abductor.
11-9-86, WOMAN KIDNAPS NEWBORN FROM MOM'S HOSPITAL BEDSIDE. Los Angeles Herald Examiner (AP). Sellersville, PA - ....A woman...entered the second floor maternity ward at Grand View Hospital Friday afternoon and went into the room of Barbara Worthington of Silverdale, according to police. The woman, who was wearing a white lab coat, claimed she had come to examine the baby [Phillip]...She walked off with the baby.
4-13-91, NEWBORN STOLEN FROM HOSPITAL, PARENTS. Portland Press Herald, 3-C. Providence, RI -....Just 11-1/2 hours after Patricia Cullen's and Keith Rose's daughter was born, a woman dressed as a nurse walked into Cullen's room and took the infant for what she said was a blood test.....The pair of 19-year olds had no idea that their baby had been abducted until "they started bringing in police, detectives," Rose said.
9-17-92, TIP LED POLICE TO BABY GIRL KIDNAPPED FROM HOSPITAL. Los Angeles Times (A-3). San Francisco - It took tip No. 1,060, received early this week, before Berkeley police to finally bring the infant known as Baby Kerri back to the arms of her jubilant 16-year old mother [and father, Christian Ray Rosales, 19, a rock band drummer] [in Gilroy ]and result in the arrest of a Richmond woman accused of kidnapping her. Authorities were expected to file foromal charges today against Karen Lea Highes, 41, who allegedly posed as a health care worker at Alta Bates Hospital and slipped away with the 2-day old daughter of Jessica Mammini on June 12....
5-11-93, SEPARATED AT BIRTH, TWINS REUNITE AFTER 16 YEARS. The Desert Sun (AP). Ventura - When Amy O'Lena, awoke after giving birth in the Phillipines 16 years ago, she thought she had just delivered a girl, whom she named Mary Joy. Nobody ever told her she had actually given birth to identical twins. Only recently was O'Lena, now living in Ventura, told by a sister that the other daughter had been taken from her. This weekend, together with their mother Amy O'Lena], Mary Ann Lopez of the Phillipines was reunited with twin Mary Joy O'Lena of Los Angeles at Los Angeles International Airport. Mary Joy said she always had an eerie feeling--reportedly shared by many separated twins--of the other's existence. When Amy O'Lena gave birth at 14, her family secretly gave away one of the twins--Mary Ann--to the doctor and his wife. Amy kept the other baby, married, had a son and daughter and moved to Ventura.
11-24-97, RAISED IN PUERTO RICO, CRYSTAL ANZALDI TO MEET REAL MOTHER IN CALIFORNIA. (AP). San Juan Puerto Rico - Seven years after she disappeared from her bed in California, 8 year-old Crystal Anzaldi is slowly being readied by social workers to meet her real mother again. Crystal hasn't seen the woman she now calls "my new mother" since being kidnapped in San Diego in 1990. Until recently, Crystal regarded the woman who was raising her in Puerto Rico as her mother. But authorities regard that woman, Nilda Gierbolini Guzman, as the prime suspect in the kidnapping. Gierbolini now faces charges of falsifying documents--a 40 year jail term even without kidnapping charges.
2-4-98, JAIL TERM FOR MASTERMIND IN INTERNATIONAL BABY TRAFFICKING CASE. (AP). Wellington, New Zealand - ...Henrietta Erika Kangenbach, 52, had pleaded guilty to a scheme to sell the infant. The alleged buyer, 35-year-old Charli Shirley Connelly of Austin, Texas, and an Australian doctor are still facing court procedings. Police told the court Langenbach, a U.S. citizen who was born in Indonesia, had made inquiries through business contacts for a baby after a friend desperate to adopt was unable to do so in the United States. A baby was found in Indonesia and payment of $350 was made. On July 12, the newborn was brought to New Zealand, the staging point for the exchange.
11-23-2000, KIDNAPPED NEWBORN FOUND SAFE, (AP). Detroit -- A newborn boy kidnapped from his mother's hospital room was found apparently unharmed Wednesday night and police said the woman who took the baby did it because she had faked a pregnancy. ...a 20-year old woman and a man in his mid-20s were arrested shortly after the baby, Moses Champion, was found at the home of the woman's mother....the female abductor befriended Moses' mother in the hospital....then fled with the child when the mother went into the bathroom of the maternity ward...About 6,000 babies are born each year at Hutzel Hospital where a 5-day old infant was kidnapped from the maternity ward in 1982 and found unharmed days later.
2-13-01, CZECHS GAVE STOLEN BABIES TO SECRET POLICE FAMILIES. News.telegraph.co.uk online. Communists in the former Czechoslavakia stole babies from jailed women and handed them to childless members of the secret police, it was discovered yesterday. ....164 cases of babies being handed to the StB secret police, the national police and the prison service. The news has a grim resonance for Czechs. The Nazis handed "Aryan looking" survivors of the 1942 massacre in the Czech village of Lidice to childless members of the SS and Gestapo. The law stated clearly that such groups as the police and prison service were to be given priority for adoption. The policy remained hidden for decades because, even after their release from prison, most of the dispossessed mothers never dared ask where their children had been sent. The children, many of them now in their late forties or fifties, never thought to question who their real parents were.
BLACK MARKET ADOPTEES
For decades, and even today, there have existed many Black Market Adoption facilitators and networks in the United States and internationally. They sell switched and stolen babies, as well as voluntarily relinquished babies from unsuspecting parents to unsuspecting adopters. Some adopters, desperate for a child, have knowingly paid huge sums to unscrupulous baby brokers. The adoptions often become "legalized" and sealed in the court, not to be discovered until the adult adoptee begins to search.
Some of the better known Black Market baby brokers and larger black market operations of the past include Georgia Tann (Tennessee Children's Home Society), Bessie Bernard (who sold babies in New York and Florida), Hicks Clinic (Alabama), Cole babies, Hightower, The Veil, Crittenton. There are many others. Often these adoptees' original records are falsified even as to date and place of birth, or do not exist.
These adoptees' best chance of connecting with their families is to gather as much information as possible from existing records, from people who may have known when the adoptee came into the adopters' home and some of the circumstances, and to register with International Soundex Reunion Registry at http://www.isrr.com and also the Black Market Adoptee's Registry (see link below). Also check web-sites in The Black Market Adoption Ring.
Child of political prisoners sues adoptive parents...
FALSE IDENTITY?: The 30-year-old Argentine said her parents forged papers to hide her true identity after her parents vanished decades ago
AP, BUENOS AIRES
Thursday, Feb 21, 2008, Page 7
A 30-year-old woman is suing her adoptive parents for kidnapping in a case that opened in an Argentine court on Tuesday, becoming the first child of disappeared political prisoners to press such charges.
Maria Eugenia Sampallo Barragan accused her adoptive parents Osvaldo Rivas and Maria Cristina Gomez Pinto of falsifying adoption documents to hide her identity. She made no comments on leaving court on Tuesday.
Thousands of leftists and dissidents vanished after being abducted by security forces during Argentina's 1976 to 1983 military regime, and human rights groups say more than 200 children were taken and given to military or politically connected families to raise. Sampallo, who in 2001 learned that she is the daughter of missing political prisoners Mirta Mable Barragan and Leonardo Ruben Sampallo, is one of 88 young people who determined their identity with DNA tests coordinated by the human rights group Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo.
Sampallo's mother was six months pregnant when she and her father were abducted on Dec. 6, 1977, said Sampallo's lawyer, Tomas Ojea Quentin. He said Sampallo was born in February 1978, while her mother was being held at a clandestine torture center. Ojea Quentin said former army captain Enrich Berthier is facing related baby theft charges in the case. He is being held at a military unit, while Sampallo's adoptive parents are reportedly free.
Lawyers for Berthier and the Gomez Pintos refused comment when they left the courthouse. The case marks the first time a woman has taken her adoptive parents to court in Argentina. There have been at least three earlier trials involving suspected illegal adoptions dating to the dictatorship that resulted in convictions -- but the plaintiffs were not the adopted children.
Also on Tuesday, a former military officer wanted in connection with the 1972 killings of 16 leftist guerrillas surrendered, hours after returning from the US, government news agency Telam said. Carlos Marandino is the fourth former naval officer arrested this month on torture and murder charges linked to the "Trelew Massacre" of rebels who fled an Argentine prison, presaging the so-called dirty war. Marandino walked off a jet at Buenos Aires's Ezeiza Airport and was detained without resistance, Telam reported.
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