Black Market Adoption

Newspaper Articles

Katherine Cole

Dr. Katherine 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. many of them to pregnant and unmarried young women. In many cases, the babies that these young women bore were illegally place with "adoptive" families, for a price.

Read about Katherine Cole:

Bradenton Herald, June 12, 1993
Orlando Sentinel, July 6, 1993
Miami Herald, September 12, 1993
Miami Herald, December 26, 1993

Thomas Hicks

Dr. Thomas Hicks was a Georgia doctor who sold babies born at his clinic during the 1950's and '60's.

Read about Dr. Thomas Hicks:

Akron Beacon-Journal, May 16, 1997
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
May 18, 1997
Florida Times-Union, Aug 23, 1997
USA Today, June 17, 1997

Bessie Bernard

Bessie Bernard was a middle aged Brooklyn housewife convicted of illegal placement of babies in a Florida to New York baby ring.

Read about Bessie Bernard:

Unknown NY Paper
Unknown NY Paper, 1949
Unknown NY Paper, 1949
Unknown NY Paper, Oct 9, 1949
Unknown NY Paper, Dec 6, 1949
Unknown NY Paper, June 20, 1950
New York Post, June 21, 1950
New York Post, Oct 31, 1950
Unknown NY Paper, Nov 1, 1950

Jerome Niles

Jerome Niles was a doctor who operated a maternity home and baby mill in Delaware.

Read about Jerome Niles:
Wilmington News Journal
, Oct 8, 2000

Georgia Tann

Georgia Tann was an infamous Tennessee social worker who made a fortune running a black-market baby adoption ring in the 1920s, '30s and '40s.

Read about Georgia Tann:

Orlando Sentinel, September 17, 1990

Ruby Hightower

Ruby Hightower owned and operated Hightower Health Home in Texarkana, Texas.  She also sold babies.

Read about Ruby Hightower:
Texarkana Gazette, April 12, 1998 

Gertrude Pitkanen

Although not a doctor, Gertrude Pitkanan performed illegal abortions and sold babies in Butte, Montana for 25 years.

Read about Gertrude Pitkanen:

Denver Post, August 4, 2002

Other Black Market Adoption Articles:

Kansas City Star, August 9, 2000
Tampa Tribune, December 25, 2003
Boston Globe, June 2, 1996
Tallahassee Democrat, May 30, 1995 
Orlando Sentinel, June 22, 1989 
Miami Herald, May 25, 1997 

Lenora Fielding

Lenora Fielding was a baby broker who sold babies to adoptive couples wanting a child. when they were not successful at having their own child, records show. Adoptions such as those arranged by Mrs. Fielding were not really legal -- but that was largely ignored.

Read about Lenora Fielding:

The Palm Beach Post, Aug 2, 1999
Jefferson City News Tribune,
June 9, 1999