When I read a post yesterday about a gay couple adopting a baby one of them had found on a NY subway, I immediately clicked the link because it's somewhat of an obsession of mine...and I also wrote about this, in-depth, in The Virgin Billionaire series in more than one book.
Over the years, Tony and I have contemplated having a child. We've thought about adoption. One niece on Tony's side even offered to be our surrogate. And we're still thinking and talking about it, knowing that there isn't that much time left. We're both in our early forties and I don't think it would be fair to adopt a child or have a child as we get closer to our fifties. I know there's a debate about that. But that's my opinion. So if we decide to do it, it's going to happen in the next two or three years.
In any event, one of the things I have always found absolutely unreal is when someone will have a baby and abandon it. For someone to be that confused and terrified, astounds me. And even though I realize there are multiple factors happening in the background of situations like this, I still don't completely get it. But more than that, I wonder sometimes about the babies that are abandoned and aren't found in time. And that just makes me sick to my stomach.
So the story about the gay man who found a baby on a NY subway hit close to home for me. I think the story broke in the NYT, but I'm linking to The Advocate right now.
"Danny called me that day, frantic," recounts Mercurio. "'I found a baby!' he shouted. 'I called 911, but I don’t think they believed me. No one’s coming. I don’t want to leave the baby alone. Get down here and flag down a police car or something.' By nature Danny is a remarkably calm person, so when I felt his heart pounding through the phone line, I knew I had to run."
"When I got to the A/C/E subway exit on Eighth Avenue, Danny was still there, waiting for help to arrive. The baby, who had been left on the ground in a corner behind the turnstiles, was light-brown skinned and quiet, probably about a day old, wrapped in an oversize black sweatshirt."
Child services eventually took custody of "Baby ACE," as the boy was nicknamed. But three months later, Mercurio was caught off guard by a judge's question as the couple testified about how they discovered the infant.
The judge asked if they would be willing to adopt the baby and Mercurio agreed, on the spot, without even discussing it with Danny. No questions asked. I would have done the same thing. Frankly, if I'd found an abandoned baby anywhere you would have to pry that child from my arms in order to give it to social services. In other words, knowing how hard it is for gay couples to adopt. And if I did report it, I would lobby, petition, and aggressively go after full custody. It's one of those things I wouldn't have to think about twice.
I often wonder if I would actually call the authorities if I found a baby. That's something I can't answer in all honesty. Tony would. He would probably talk me into calling the authorities and work it all out legally. But I would have a moment where I would think about keeping that baby and raising it myself and never telling anyone I'd found it. And when I wrote about the topic of abandonment in The Virgin Billionaire series, it wasn't by accident. I've posted here, and in posts about The Virgin Billionaire books. I'd never actually heard of any gay couples who had found a baby before I'd read the article above, but I always wondered how it would work if it happened.
In TBV series, I begin the topic of abandonment early in the series, as a charity that Luis feels very strongly about. He works on raising money for organizations that help abandoned babies with his best friend Hillary, and they often clash because of this. (I did extensive research for this; there are several organizations and each state handles it differently as far as keeping the found baby.) I even go into Luis's obsession about finding a baby of his own, to the point where he can't walk past a dumpster without peeking inside to see if anyone's left a baby there.
I tried to do it with humor, but by also showing how serious Luis is about it. For Luis, it's not a joke. And when Jase decides they should have another child, I take Luis's obsession even further. Luis also wants another child, but he wants to hold off on surrogacy and adoption because he's looking for an abandoned baby. He's so intense about this it often causes conflict with Jase...who is far more pragmatic than Luis.
I won't talk about what happens in the end of the VB series. But I will say this. It was nice to see a real life happy ending with the real life gay couple that found their abandoned baby on a NY subway. And it was also nice to see that I wasn't too far off track with The Virgin Billionaire. When you write things like this in fiction you often wonder if they are too far-fetched. This time I now have proof that wonderful, fantastic things like this can, and do, really happen in real life.