A Massachusetts mother wasn’t expecting to find her seven-month-old in the center of an international adoption scam. But all it took was an e-mail to a Craigslist poster, and a picture of her bouncing boy filled her screen.
Her kid was on sale via Craigslist.
Only according to the post, he was a Canadian citizen stuck in an orphanage in Cameroon. He was listed as very healthy and ready for adoption. To add a little more international mystery – the post claimed to be from London, where they said you could send $300 to kick off the adoption process for a “cute baby boy.”
He’s absolutely adorable. And also very much at home with his parents in Massachusetts. Not to mention not Canadian. Or up for adoption anytime in the near future (or ever).
Naturally, the photos came off the family’s blog. Which will have plenty of people atwitter about shutting down family blogs. But while this whole thing is sick and twisted (and I feel for the Brennans that their child is very literally being used) – I’m more upset that someone’s out there preying on people who genuinely want to adopt a child than I would be about the use of a photo. And it is still out there – Yahoo has shut down the e-mail account used by the faux poster, but Craigslist in the UK still has the post up and available for viewing.
Despite this newscaster’s warnings of the dangers of the Internet, there was no time when little Jake Brennan was in serious trouble. His mom didn’t even know his photo had been co-opted until she got an e-mail from a friend who’d learned the photo was being used (not sure how – the photo wasn’t actually put up on the Craiglist listing. Jenni Brennan had to e-mail the poster to procure a photo of the child supposedly up for adoption).
I can’t blame Jenni Brennan for her anger at the circumstances, and applaud her following up and reporting the whole mess to authorities. But would you do as she has and shutter the family blog as well?