How much is that baby in the window?

Reply Sat 21 Feb, 2009 04:25 pm
WEST BEND - A baby was sold for $6,000 in Washington county, and now a Missouri woman is behind bars for the crime. Police believe Denise Novotny purchased the baby from a Kewaskum couple. They allegedly signed a surrogate contract to make it look legal.

The little girl was born at Aurora Medical Center in Hartford in December of 2004. Now, Denise Novotny, 36, sits in a Missouri jail, charged with child abduction and unauthorized adoption. A criminal complaint says Novotny paid David and Angela Schmidt of Kewaskum $6,000 for their newborn daughter. Novotny allegedly had them sign a surrogate birth contract to make it appear legal. But the Schmidts now admit the girl was theirs, and that they willingly gave her up for money.

"Real surrogacy can be a good option for people who are experiencing infertility and it's a shame something like this happens because then it just gives it a bad name," Donna Strayer, Director of Adoption Services in Mequon says. Strayer says she is shocked by the case, particularly because the Schmidts had legal options if they wanted to give up their child, or if they need financial assistance along the way. Legally, adoptive parents can pay for maternity clothes, living expenses, birthing classes, or even give a gift. But selling a baby is against the law.

In order to make it legal, Strayer says, "She actually has to go before a judge and terminate her rights." The complaint says the Schmidts don't want to contact their daughter, but never gave up their parental rights.

We tried to reach the couple and their attorney, but haven't heard back. The Washington County Assistant District Attorney who is handling the case says Novotny was wanted on warrants in Missouri, and once she is officially charged with those crimes, will be brought to Wisconsin to face a judge. The assistant district attorney says no charges have been filed yet against the couple who sold the baby. But he does say the investigation into the case continues.

I'm not sure what to make of this.

This little girl is 5 years old now. I assume she's been living with the woman who bought her for those 5 years. How will they ever decide what is in her "best interest"?

I wonder how all this came to light after all these years.

And why haven't the bio-parents been charged?

Crazy, crazy, crazy

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Reply Sat 21 Feb, 2009 04:41 pm
The one with the waggaly tail?

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Reply Sat 21 Feb, 2009 04:44 pm
There might not be a best solution for this poor child. You can't have adults going around buying and selling babies like puppies and the law must deal with that. If it was an honest mistake made in ignorance without intention to break the law, and the adoptive parents are good parents to the little girl, maybe they can work out a state pardon or something and then finalize the legal work, but the state simply can't just ignore it.
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Reply Sat 21 Feb, 2009 04:55 pm
I guess the thing that gets me is that this buyer must not have been able to adopt through the regular channels because it probably wouldn't have cost her more than $6,000 to leagally adopt. If she had adopted through foster care it wouldn't have cost her anything.

So there had to be some reason that she did this.

I'd love to know how the little girl is doing, even to know where she is now that her mom is in jail.

I agree that they can't just ignore it but this is some kind of messed up.
Reply Sat 21 Feb, 2009 10:33 pm
boomerang wrote:
So there had to be some reason that she did this.

timing often has something to do with it. some people don't want to wait to adopt a baby. they want it now, and they're willing to pay much larger sums of money than $6,000 to do so. there are smarter ways to get large amounts of money to the birth mother/parent so it doesn't 'look' like a sale.
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