Skip to comments.‘Gertie’s Babies,’ Sold at Birth, Use DNA to Unlock Secret Past
Posted on 04/10/2015 12:58:35 PM PDT by Lorianne
Sue Dockens start in life, in 1951, with a no-questions-asked cash adoption at the hands of a midwife, had strong elements of the crime scene that it was.
Her adoptive father was told to stay in the car and keep the motor running. His wife went into a nondescript office building in Butte, Mont., where she met with the midwife, Gertrude Pitkanen, and was handed the hours-old infant and the afterbirth, offered a peek through a curtain at the young mother lying in a bed, and told to leave. The afterbirth was thrown out the window on the drive home, Ms. Docken was later told by her adoptive parents, who paid $500 for her that day.
Ms. Docken is one of about two dozen people, mostly in the West, belonging to a self-styled club whose members call themselves Gerties Babies. (More are believed to be out there, unknown perhaps even to themselves.) Their lives are diverse, connected only by a common thread, Ms. Pitkanen. Sometimes known more grandly as Gertrude Pitkanen Van Orden, she delivered and sold babies, performed abortions and mostly evaded legal consequence in Butte from the 1920s through the 1950s. The secrets she left have fueled a search for origins and answers, in some cases lasting decades.
Now, some of the back stories of the Gerties Babies have started to come to light through DNA-matching research sites like Ancestry.com and 23andMe.com, to which people can send a cheek swab in hopes of finding a match with relatives who have also submitted a DNA sample. Tales have emerged of desperation, betrayal and secrets taken to the grave, but also of joy and newfound connection, like Heather Livergoods.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
“...she delivered and sold babies, performed abortions and mostly evaded legal consequence in Butte from the 1920s through the 1950s.”
A slave-trader and a murder. What a resume this monster had.
The question is why is the NYT publishing this and why now?
Agenda of course, timing is key sometimes.
Ew. Look what the cat dragged in.
I’m sure all these people wish they had been aborted, instead.
All I was eluding to was the NYT constant push for unlimited abortion and abortion rights, nothing else.
There were many, many blackmarket babies who were adopted into loving homes and who had great lives. That’s in this article.
If anything, this tells me that there’s a market for ‘no frills’ adoption on both sides of the coin.