Black Market Baby Broker

Black Market Baby Broker

Posted in the Spiritwood Forum

Dad

Aurora, CO

#1 May 13, 2010
Bessie Bernard
Black Market Baby Broker
Bessie Bernard was a Brooklyn housewife. She was also part of a baby-peddling ring in the 1940's which charged as much as $2,000 per baby...a lot of money at that time. According to Assistant District Attorney Ernest Mittler, this was "a big time business done on assembly line basis".

The unwed mothers were found in the Miami area, and once the babies were born, they were brought north, and again according to D.A. Mittler, were sold in New York and nearby states.

Charged with conspiracy and illegal placement for adoption in December 1949, Bessie Bernard had two co-defendents. They were Brooklyn attorneys Irwin Slater and Harry Wolfson. Slater drafted formal agreements "just like a bill of sale for a piece of property". The D.A. charged that Slater was "in charge of production", Wolfson was "his office manager", and Bernard was "in charge of placement and transportation of the babies".

Bessie Bernard's mug shots

During the course of the trial, witnesses testified about giving their babies to Irwin Slater for adoption for $300 or less. One, a 17 year old unwed mother, said she got $100. The families with which these babies were placed paid between $1,650 and $2,000. Two New Jersey women that operated nursing homes testified that they cared for babies for the defendents. One woman testified about flying to Florida to pick up a baby for Bernard, and flying home to New Jersey with the baby, which was placed with a couple a few days later. One man with whom a baby was placed testified that Bessie Bernard had never produced a birth certificate or adoption
papers, which he had requested.

At the conclusion of the trial, after being denounced for "buying and selling babies for profit", Bessie Bernard and Irwin Slater were each sentenced to 1 year in jail, Slater was assessed a fine of $1,500, and Bernard was assessed a fine of $2,500. Harry Wolfson was acquitted. The judge characterized the acts of Bernard and Slater as "a nauseating and revolting practice of trading in human flesh". "There is no doubt that you were buying and selling babies for profit", said Judge Valente. "Humanitarian motives, if any, were a secondary consideration. A substantial gain on each deal was the primary motive."

In a ruling made on November 1, 1950, Judge Valente advised Bessie Bernard that if she paid her $2,500 fine by November 17th, he would suspend execution of her prison term.

Lest you think that this was the end of Bessie's illegal activities, she was doing black market adoptions as late as 1970, under the name of Elizabeth Weiner, which was her maiden name.

NEWSPAPER ARTICLES RELATING TO BESSIE BERNARD

Miami - N.Y. Baby Ring Bared

Baby Farm's Offer:$2,000, Take Pick

Lawyer, Widow Get Terms in Baby Mart

Woman Outwits Cops In Baby Sale Probe

1 Yes all this crime,theft of babies,human beings still goes on.They did to My Family,Ronald Karole H,yes we were married.Stolen at birth.A travesty.Born stolen in jamestown north dakota.Russel and Rory H.You cant even imagine the horror of it all.We had No Due Process of Law.And we had 2 other children.They take em all if you are bad parents right.All for $$$$$$$$$$Money.
Dad

Aurora, CO

#2 May 13, 2010
Dad wrote:
Bessie Bernard
Black Market Baby Broker
Bessie Bernard was a Brooklyn housewife. She was also part of a baby-peddling ring in the 1940's which charged as much as $2,000 per baby...a lot of money at that time. According to Assistant District Attorney Ernest Mittler, this was "a big time business done on assembly line basis".
The unwed mothers were found in the Miami area, and once the babies were born, they were brought north, and again according to D.A. Mittler, were sold in New York and nearby states.
Charged with conspiracy and illegal placement for adoption in December 1949, Bessie Bernard had two co-defendents. They were Brooklyn attorneys Irwin Slater and Harry Wolfson. Slater drafted formal agreements "just like a bill of sale for a piece of property". The D.A. charged that Slater was "in charge of production", Wolfson was "his office manager", and Bernard was "in charge of placement and transportation of the babies".
Bessie Bernard's mug shots
During the course of the trial, witnesses testified about giving their babies to Irwin Slater for adoption for $300 or less. One, a 17 year old unwed mother, said she got $100. The families with which these babies were placed paid between $1,650 and $2,000. Two New Jersey women that operated nursing homes testified that they cared for babies for the defendents. One woman testified about flying to Florida to pick up a baby for Bernard, and flying home to New Jersey with the baby, which was placed with a couple a few days later. One man with whom a baby was placed testified that Bessie Bernard had never produced a birth certificate or adoption
papers, which he had requested.
At the conclusion of the trial, after being denounced for "buying and selling babies for profit", Bessie Bernard and Irwin Slater were each sentenced to 1 year in jail, Slater was assessed a fine of $1,500, and Bernard was assessed a fine of $2,500. Harry Wolfson was acquitted. The judge characterized the acts of Bernard and Slater as "a nauseating and revolting practice of trading in human flesh". "There is no doubt that you were buying and selling babies for profit", said Judge Valente. "Humanitarian motives, if any, were a secondary consideration. A substantial gain on each deal was the primary motive."
In a ruling made on November 1, 1950, Judge Valente advised Bessie Bernard that if she paid her $2,500 fine by November 17th, he would suspend execution of her prison term.
Lest you think that this was the end of Bessie's illegal activities, she was doing black market adoptions as late as 1970, under the name of Elizabeth Weiner, which was her maiden name.
NEWSPAPER ARTICLES RELATING TO BESSIE BERNARD
Miami - N.Y. Baby Ring Bared
Baby Farm's Offer:$2,000, Take Pick
Lawyer, Widow Get Terms in Baby Mart
Woman Outwits Cops In Baby Sale Probe
1 Yes all this crime,theft of babies,human beings still goes on.They did to My Family,Ronald Karole H,yes we were married.Stolen at birth.A travesty.Born stolen in jamestown north dakota.Russel and Rory H.You cant even imagine the horror of it all.We had No Due Process of Law.And we had 2 other children.They take em all if you are bad parents right.All for $$$$$$$$$$Money.
Made it all up.No.Their are NO cowards in heaven. The Constitution also protects "the individual interest in avoiding disclosure of personal matters." Federal Courts (and State Courts), under Griswold can protect, under the "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness" phrase of the Declaration of Independence, the right of a man to enjoy the mutual care, company, love and affection of his children, and this cannot be taken away from him without due process of law. There is a family right to privacy which the state cannot invade or it becomes actionable for civil rights damages. Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 US 479,(1965).
Di Rosa

Tucson, AZ

#3 Aug 17, 2012
my brother could have been one of their babies. My parents were Italian immigrants and my mother gave birth to my brother at Bay Ridge Hospital. The baby was healthy and beautiful. The next day he was pronounced dead. They never saw the baby again. My father was in the Army at the time. This Bessie lived near where my parentl lived. I think people need to know about this cruelty that they have caused to so many lives.
lola

Minot, ND

#4 Oct 1, 2012
Weird story.

Since: Apr 12

Willcox, AZ

#5 Jan 21, 2014
Anyone who is looking for relatives should think about doing DNA.

Three companies that Genealogists and adoptees and other family members are doing are:

1) FTDNA.com

2) www.23andme.com

3) ancestry.

Joan

Since: Apr 12

Willcox, AZ

#6 Jan 25, 2014
WE have DNA groups to help people with their genealogy and DNA results.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AdoptionDNA
Patricia

Anderson, IN

#8 Jun 5, 2014
Di Rosa wrote:
my brother could have been one of their babies. My parents were Italian immigrants and my mother gave birth to my brother at Bay Ridge Hospital. The baby was healthy and beautiful. The next day he was pronounced dead. They never saw the baby again. My father was in the Army at the time. This Bessie lived near where my parentl lived. I think people need to know about this cruelty that they have caused to so many lives.
Do you have any idea what year this was? Unfortunately my father, born in 1938, olive skin and very tall, was a black market baby and the FBI cannot help me. I have called them. He was adopted by a family also named Bernard. My grandfather and grandmother had one son already, and his son is influential in the state police so I got no where. My grandfather was head of the Sunday school in the church yet suddenly, up and moved to NJ and arrived there in Vineland with another son. The 1940 census states that my father is 2. My grandmother had no qualms admitting that she paid $2000 for my father. However the cover up now is immense. The family is in the book, "Prominent Families Of NJ" in Two Volumes and the entire story is bogus. Anyway, they did live in NY, he did have olive skin and was born around June of 1938 supposedly, give or take. I have no birth records. The adoptive family buried him in the same grave as his wife, no marker with his name, and did NOT notify me of his death. There are little to no records of his existence.
joan

Willcox, AZ

#9 Jun 5, 2014
Patricia wrote:
<quoted text>
Do you have any idea what year this was? Unfortunately my father, born in 1938, olive skin and very tall, was a black market baby and the FBI cannot help me. I have called them. He was adopted by a family also named Bernard. My grandfather and grandmother had one son already, and his son is influential in the state police so I got no where. My grandfather was head of the Sunday school in the church yet suddenly, up and moved to NJ and arrived there in Vineland with another son. The 1940 census states that my father is 2. My grandmother had no qualms admitting that she paid $2000 for my father. However the cover up now is immense. The family is in the book, "Prominent Families Of NJ" in Two Volumes and the entire story is bogus. Anyway, they did live in NY, he did have olive skin and was born around June of 1938 supposedly, give or take. I have no birth records. The adoptive family buried him in the same grave as his wife, no marker with his name, and did NOT notify me of his death. There are little to no records of his existence.
Did you know there are three DNA companies. Many people are doing their DNA to help with Genealogy. Its helping adoptees too.
tricia

Anderson, IN

#10 Jun 8, 2014
Di Rosa wrote:
my brother could have been one of their babies. My parents were Italian immigrants and my mother gave birth to my brother at Bay Ridge Hospital. The baby was healthy and beautiful. The next day he was pronounced dead. They never saw the baby again. My father was in the Army at the time. This Bessie lived near where my parentl lived. I think people need to know about this cruelty that they have caused to so many lives.
what year was this?
still searching

Brooklyn, NY

#11 May 7, 2015
My baby was born 1970 Cumberland hospital Bklyn was told bsby died found out my bsby was placed in nursery it was a mix up my bsby died, tried to get death or birth certificate nothing wa s filed was told it was a boy June 3, 1970 they lied
still searching

Brooklyn, NY

#12 May 7, 2015
He is out there some where
joanNYadoptees

Phoenix, AZ

#13 May 9, 2015
still searching wrote:
My baby was born 1970 Cumberland hospital Bklyn was told bsby died found out my bsby was placed in nursery it was a mix up my bsby died, tried to get death or birth certificate nothing wa s filed was told it was a boy June 3, 1970 they lied
Please get a kit from FTDNA and do your dan. Its 99.00 and if your child may have done theirs, it would show on your dna results.

Since: Apr 12

Willcox, AZ

#14 May 29, 2015
Dad wrote:
<quoted text> Made it all up.No.Their are NO cowards in heaven. The Constitution also protects "the individual interest in avoiding disclosure of personal matters." Federal Courts (and State Courts), under Griswold can protect, under the "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness" phrase of the Declaration of Independence, the right of a man to enjoy the mutual care, company, love and affection of his children, and this cannot be taken away from him without due process of law. There is a family right to privacy which the state cannot invade or it becomes actionable for civil rights damages. Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 US 479,(1965).
Adoptees used to be able to ask ask for their copy of the original birth cert. As of 1991 in ct. they closed that down, and put a ci program in. In NY state, Before 1935 adoption records weren't sealed. So are you saying Adoptees shouldn't have updated medical ? They can die in the name of Privacy? Thousands of biological parents are searching and wanting to know what happened to their child, they relinquished.
Joan of nyadoptees

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