Search Group For Easter House Adoptees

May 15th, 2007
Categories: Black Market, Search was created by a mother who surrendered her child to adoption via Easter House. is intended to be a search, reunion and support site for Easter House mothers, fathers, adoptive parents and our children. This article explains that Easter House was part of a complex network begun by a man named Seymour Kurtz. According to Lynne Taggart who interviewed Kurtz for a book about baby brokers, Kurtz received his license to set up his agency as a non-profit adoption agency in the early 1960's. However, around 1973, the person that he hired to run the agency warned him that due to a lack of babies, they might need to shut down. Seymour Kurtz allegedly immediately began looking to… [more]

Bad Adoption Practices – Past and Present

March 7th, 2007

In this story, the birth mother was told that her child had died at birth. Instead, shortly after her birth in 1955, the child was sold in a gray market adoption for $250. Needless to say, the birth mother was stunned to find that the child she believed had died was alive and had been stolen from her. She was 33 when her daughter was born and then evidently stolen and sold by the midwife and doctor. "I guess they wanted the money," she says. Even for some birth parents in closed adoptions who know that their children are probably alive, in a sense at reunion it can be as though they are back from the dead. Can you even imagine what… [more]

Katherine Cole – Miami, FL

March 5th, 2007
Categories: Black Market

Cole babies were babies delivered by Dr. Katherine Cole. Dr. Cole was a naturopathic physician that practiced in Miami, Florida for 51 years. In her 2 story clinic on the west side of Miami, Cole delivered thousands of babies. The building in which her clinic was located also contained several rooms that Cole rented to pregnant and unmarried women. In many cases, the babies that these women bore were illegally placed with adoptive families for a price. A fee for that ranged from twenty five dollars to several thousands of dollars. Dr. Katherine Cole ran one of the biggest black market adoption rings in the country from 1927 to 1963 in Miami, Florida. Katherine Cole was arrested at least 7 times. She… [more]

Bessie Bernard – Miami, FL

March 5th, 2007

This site will tell you the story of Bessie Bernard. Bessie Bernard was a part of a baby peddling ring in the 1940s which charged as much as two thousand dollars per baby, which was a lot of money at that time. Many of the unwed mothers were found in the Miami Florida area and once the babies were born they were brought north and were sold in New York and nearby states. Bessie Bernard was charged with conspiracy and illegal placement for adoption in December 1949. She worked with two others who were Brooklyn attorneys Irwin Slater and Harry Wolfson. Mr. Slater drafted formal agreements. Bessie Bernard was in charge of placement and transportation of the babies. During the… [more]

Black Market Adoption Part 2

March 2nd, 2007
Categories: Black Market

In some cases, there are already others adopted from the same source who can provide information to a new searcher. Some of the already established groups include Cole babies, Hicks babies, Bessie babies, Dr. Mary babies, Butterbox babies, and Springer babies. Black market adoptees should use all established methods for obtaining information, but cannot take anything for granted as details were so often changed, deleted, or missing altogether. They should be aware that documents such as birth certificates and consent forms were also often falsified. Black market adoptees can and do have successful searches, but the searches are more difficult because of the lack of reliable information and therefore, may take longer. The first place any adoptee should register is with the International… [more]

Black Market Adoption Part 1

March 1st, 2007
Categories: Black Market

A black market adoption is the sale of a baby for profit. Some may have the image of a dark alley and money being exchanged. However, it isn’t nor was it like this at all. In the early 1900’s, private secular and religious groups began the permanent residential care of orphaned children, but were ill equipped to handle the multitude of America’s orphans. By the 1920’s, social changes and the absence of state run orphanages provided fertile ground for the emergence of black market adoption as a means to place babies with adoptive parents. From elite maternity homes to the back doors of private doctors’ offices, babies began to be sold by unscrupulous doctors, attorneys, and other individuals. Word quickly spread in cities… [more]

Black and Gray Market Adoptions

February 28th, 2007
Categories: Black Market

For people involved in black or gray market adoptions, finding birth family or a child surrendered to adoption certainly can be more difficult. However, over the years groups have sprung up to unite those searching. There were some quite well-known adoption lawyers or agencies in several states know for shady, if not illegal adoption practices. In Florida, an attorney named Helen Tanos Hope was known to have handled many adoptions in the 60's to 90's. It is alleged that her adoption records were found in a dumpster after her death and another attorney took possession of the records. Eventually, the Florida Department of Children & Families took possession of these records. Whether the adoptions that she handled were actually black… [more]

The Baby Thief

February 8th, 2007

Back in March 2006 I wrote a blog about Georgia Tann and Black Market Adoptions. That blog is accessible at Today, I learned of a new book that is coming out about Georgia Tann via a news article at The story of Georgia Tann is being told by New York author Barbara Raymond in the book titled The Baby Thief: The Untold Story of Georgia Tann, The Baby Seller Who Corrupted Adoption. The book is being published by Caroll & Graff and will be out on April 28, 2007. Georgia Tann ran an adoption for profit scandal that rocked Memphis, TN in the 1950’s. Georgia Tann operated the Tennessee Children’s Home on Popular Avenue in the 1930’s and 1940… [more]

Elizabeth Duncan Part 2

November 13th, 2006
Categories: Black Market

First off, some triad members who have contacted me regarding Mrs. Duncan seem to think or believe she was connected with Catholic Charities. This is not true. Mrs. Duncan was not connected to Catholic Charities in any way shape or form. A lot of the natural mothers who relinquished through Mrs. Duncan were referred to her via the priests of the local catholic churches, the doctors, hospitals, and lawyers that she worked with regularly. I do not believe that there was any financial benefit for Mrs. Duncan in the work that she did. I have not been able to locate any evidence that she received any sort of payment for her services. I have not met any… [more]

Elizabeth Duncan Part 1

November 13th, 2006
Categories: Black Market

When I was adopted the adoption was a private adoption through a woman named Elizabeth Duncan. She placed many babies in PA and to the best of my knowledge did not place the babies outside of Western, PA. In addition, to the best of my knowledge I don’t believe she placed outside of Westmoreland or Allegheny County. My adoptive parents were introduced to Mrs. Duncan through the priest at their church. The story goes that the priest came to bless their home and asked if they had any children. The response was no but they were thinking about adoption. The priest blessed the home, left, and phoned when he returned to the rectory with Mrs. Duncan’s name and phone… [more]