Gray Market Adoption: The Twin Who Didn’t Die

This is a guest post from Rose, who is kind enough to share her experiences. I hope there is someone out there who can help with her search. Tis the season, and we could use some miracles…
My name is Rose and I am an adoptee who was reunited with my birth mother in 1988 with whom I had a very close relationship until her passing in February 2001. To honor her life and the memory of my twin that I thought was stillborn I wrote the following story:
Two tiny spermatozoa maneuver their way through the dark passageway in search of the prize when suddenly two large oval shaped masses loom in front of them. Each sperm cell burrows its way into the warm gooey side of its respective prize and becomes one with the egg, fertilizing it and thus beginning the cycle of life anew as it has done since the dawn of creation.
The now fertilized eggs begin the trip back down the same way that the sperm traveled up not too long before. As they travel, toward their new home for the next eight months, the eggs begin to divide becoming multi-celled organisms. They eventually reach the uterus where they burrow into the soft lining and continue to grow and divide.
Six weeks pass and by then the host knows of the presence of the two travelers and she welcomes them, but not all are happy about their arrival. The host is told to get rid of the ‘unwanted mass of cells’ but she refuses to. She does her best to protect the two little travelers but it is difficult. On two separate occasions violent earthquakes rock the cocoon that envelopes the twins. They do not know that is happening, only that what was thought to be safe and secure is not. The twins grow more anxious as each day passes, afraid of what will happen next.
Though on the outside, the next six months pass by without incident, all is not well within as the food supply becomes non-existent. The smaller of the twins grows weaker each passing day and it becomes apparent that it will not survive to see the outside world. The Littlest One, as it is called, musters its remaining strength and telegraphs the message to the one in front that it can no longer hang on. As a bright light appears and surrounds The Littlest One, it telegraphs a final good bye to its companion and is lifted by gentle hands into the loving embrace of the Creator and carried into the light. ‘But, wait,’ The Littlest One asks, ‘What about the one left behind? I can still see her.’ ‘Don’t worry’, says the One with the gentle hands. ‘She will be born very soon. She will not know about you until many moons have passed but she will never forget you because she will carry that knowledge deep within herself that you indeed existed. You will not be forgotten. Fear not little one and rest now, for you are home.’
No one knew whether the Littlest One was a boy or girl nor did they care, except for the remaining one. She mourned the loss of her companion, yearning to once again see his/her face. It was the Creator of all Life who reached down and took the Littlest One home, where He named the child and where He continues to gently rock the little waif in His loving arms, even to this day.
With each anniversary of my mother’s passing, and my birthday, I would think of my twin. In December 2007, all of that changed when I found out information that changed my life for ever. While going through paperwork on Mom’s family tree, I came across what I assumed was Mom’s hospital records from my birth. Curious, I started to read and there it was in black and white: a ‘delivered and a healthy male infant…’ My twin, a brother, had been born alive!
I wish that my story had a happy ending and I could report that I found him and we are living happily ever after, but that is not the case. Unfortunately, my twin is just another statistic in the world of gray market adoption. For reasons that are known only to the doctor who delivered my twin and I, he felt that it was necessary to place my twin with another family. The couple who took him only knew that the birth mother could not care for him and he needed to go to a home that could give him what she could not. What the family did not know was that the fact that the birth mother had not given her consent and in fact did not know that the child had been born alive. She had been told that it was stillborn. The hospital records were altered to look as if Mom had given birth to only one child, me. However, fortunately for me the doctor did not completely alter the records so that the records I held in my hand contained the first clues as to what happened those many years ago.
As a result of the deception on the doctor’s part over fifty years ago, finding my twin is like trying to find a needle in a haystack, a haystack marked the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is not only a closed records state, it’s locked tighter than Fort Knox. In fact, it would be easier to get into Fort Knox than it is trying to find out anything from the powers that be. Pennsylvania, as in many of the other closed adoption records states, feels that the records should be permanently sealed to protect the privacy of the birth mother. In my case, protecting her privacy is a moot point as she is now deceased and she never wanted it protected in the first place. The only person that is being protected is the doctor who perpetrated this crime that has affected three innocent people, not to mention our spouses and children.
Since that December night, I have been on a search for one thing and one thing only: The truth. That is all I want to know, for in knowing the truth, I know that I will be set free and no one can take that away from me.
ISO twin brother, Pottstown Memorial Hospital, Pottstown, PA, March 17, 1959


  1. My mother in law had twins and one died. The other is my husband. The day I told her about my son, she told me they didn’t tell her she had twins until the minute she was leaving the hospital. They did alot of very strange things back in the old days. All supposedly for the good of the person who was the recipient of the act.

    I really hope you find your brother. He probably doesn’t know he has a sister either. Maybe it is something for Find my Family. I mean it. Good luck!

  2. Dear Rose, your story is horrific, of losing your brother. I would actually go one step further: this is a black market adoption. It was illegal for that doctor do to what he did.

    I believe that every time a baby is sold by an agency, every time that money changes hands in adoption, it is a grey market adoption because it is truly human trafficking and people buying an infant. But these “grey market adoptions” get the stamp-of-approval of lawmakers.

    Your story is even more horrific: a mother gave birth and was told her baby had died. This is also known as a “dead baby scam” and the practice was rampant across Canada and Australia for many years.

    I hope and pray that you will find your brother again.

  3. Rose,
    What happened to you and your mother IS a crime. I encourage you to keep searching for your brother: you have a birth date, a place, and your original mother’s name. SOMEONE knows information that can help you. Explore every avenue, follow suggestions, and don’t be afraid. And work to reform Pennsylvania laws. America’s adoption laws are barbaric among developed nations. Britain opened access to birth records for adopted adults 33 YEARS AGO – and nothing bad has happened. (I’m writing an article about this for the American Adoption Congress newsletter – if you’re not already a member, join the community.)
    We’re rooting for you!

  4. http://rose says

    The only thing that Mom was told was that ‘it’ had been stillborn. She went to her grave thinking that I was here only living child, as she could not have any more children after my twin and I were born.

    I did contact Find My Family and after filling out the application and submmitting all of the paperwork, I have heard nothing back. Since it seems that they don’t do the actual searches, my search would be considered too difficult seeing as I don’t have any solid leads that they can use

  5. http://rose says

    Thank you Cedar, for putting another perspective on it. I had not heard of Dead Babies Scam, before, but I have heard that this wasn’t the first time that the doctor did something like that. I would definitely call it black market, but too many times have been corrected by those who want to be ‘politically correct’ because no agency was invovled, and there is no evidedence that money changed hands, but the result is all the same: a baby was taken away from his mother and given to someone else with the mother’s consent or knowledge. It all adds up to the same thing

  6. Hi everyone, thanks for your comments, and thank you again Rose for letting me share your story.

    In retrospect I agree, I should have said “black market” instead of “gray market”, but either way it’s clear this was and is a crime against Rose, her twin, her mom and the rest of her family.

    UM (and others who have expressed this privately)–much as I wish Find My Family could help, I don’t think they’d take on a case like Rose’s. As she herself mentioned, she has already tried to solicit their help. And as I said in my previous blog about Find My Family, it appears that they, like state-based intermediaries, are only willing to take on cases where they have enough information to go on, where they know they can succeed. I also wonder if they are unwilling to take on cases like this due to potential legal liability. (I would love to see them prove me wrong, on both counts!) Rose has also asked the search angels who work on Find My Family’s cases (the search forum I mentioned in my previous entry) and none of them have thus far been able to help either, though they have done their best and continue to do so.

    I pray someone out there recognizes Rose’s story and can reunite her with her twin.

  7. http://Anonymous says

    I hope you find your brother someday. I have been battling the Commonwealth of PA (Lackawanna County) since 1990 for my information. Not only is it like Fort Knox, it is a very corrupt local government. Never Give Up!