Baby Lydia, as she is now called, was born without most of both arms and only one leg. Part of her chin is missing. She breathes through a tube in her throat and she is fed through a tube in her stomach. According to a news article in the May 17 Miami Herald, Lydia's placement was assigned to the Gift of Life adoption agency in Pinellas Park, the same location of the recently ended Schiavo Dog & Pony Show.
On April 4, only a few days after "pro-life" demonstrators were hauled off to the slammer in Pinellas Park, Bastardette received an email from Leslie Tignor,director of the Associate Program of the anti-abortion/anti-gay/anti-science/anti-everything American Life League, an organization that, btw, signed on as an amica in Doe v Sundquist to keep adoption records sealed in Tennessee. Tignor implored her readers, at the behest of baby dump entrepreneur Nick Silverio, founder of Florida's Safe Haven for Newborns to consider adopting Baby Lydia lest she be dealt the same state-imposed fate as Schiavo. The email was also posted on several websites including Prolife Wisconsin, Life Issues.net, and Free Republic where even some Freepers found the hyperventalating way over the top. A better-late-than-never identical appeal was posted several days later when the "crisis" was over, under the signature of Andrea Albanse, Respect Life Coordinator for the Arlington (VA) Diocese, on the Schiavo website Blogs for Terri and on the Sean Hannity discussion board causing a whole new wave of panic attacks. It cannot be found on either the ALL or Silverio websites. Perhaps they thought it too crass (or illegal) to post a classified ad on their own sites.
Here is the entire message (note that Lydia was misidentified as a boy):
From: "Leslie Tignor"
Date: 2005/04/04 Mon PM 04:04:55 EDT
To: "Leslie Tignor"
Subject: Urgent need for potential adoptive family
Nick Silverio of Safe Haven for Newborns in Florida has asked that we spread the word of a disabled newborn in need of adoption.
The child, born today, has no arms, only one leg, and is missing a good portion of his jaw - but his prognosis is good. The baby was abandoned by his mother under the Florida Safe Haven law and, unless potential adoptive parents can be found, quickly, the child will become a ward of the state (and, it is feared, the target of euthanasia). The Florida Department of Children and Families will not become involved unless information is obtained that may suggest some type of abuse or neglect (which is not evident at this time). Catholic Charities in Florida is not currently able to assist with adoption services.
Please forward this information on to any agency, organization or individual that may be able to assist in locating interested potential adoptive parents.
Nick's cell phone number is and the his web site is www.asafehavenfornewborns.com
It has been my experience in the very recent past that adoptive parents for disabled infants have been found through the efforts of pro-life people who simply made the need known via e-mail.
Please pray for this baby and his biological mother as well.
Director, Associate Program
American Life League
Just when you think nothing can surprise you....
Bastardette sent the oily beg letter around to a few friends and lists in AdoptionLand. Unlike the Schiavo-paranoids on the "pro-life" boards, convinced that Murder by State was imminent but yet couldn't bring themselves to seriously consider adopting Lydia (I already have kids I can't afford--but God will head off things at the pass), those adoption savvy people I sent the missive to replied back angry and incredulous. Some thought it must be a hoax. Nobody could possibly be advertising a safe havened baby on the Internet. All were disgusted. And none thought the State of Florida was about to euthanize Lydia.
And besides the letter made no sense. How could Lydia become a ward of the state, for instance, unless the Florida Department of Children and Families didn't become involved? And were they trying to pass her off on just anybody? What about home studies? Foster care licenses? Care of fragile and special needs babies? Pedophiles? Do in fact, the kitchen table baby savers even understand the adoption process--much less the lifetime consequences of adoption on all parties involved? Is that a rhetorical question?
According to the recent Miami Herald article,the day after Lydia's birth--at the very moment Nick Silverio and ALL were pounding the panic button, an Alabama couple with other special needs children had already agreed to adopt Lydia, sight unseen.
So what was this about? Just to be nice, Bastardette is willing to concede some misapplied humanitarian concern on the part of Silverio and ALL, but ultimately it was about piggybacking on the l'affaire Schiavo. As usual, babies and adoption were exploited at a visceral level to publicize a larger political agenda d'jour that includes anything the Nosy Parkers, do-gooders, and evangelical Jacobean pot-stirrers want it to. We will no doubt see more Internet threats from them.
Nearly every newspaper account of a Happy Safe Haven Family tells us that the dumped baby is a Gift from God. Like Rosie O'Donnell, they are convinced that God put "their" baby into the wrong tummy and now the state and they personally have to fix His bad planning. That Silverio and ALL sent an unfounded threat of euthanization based on absolutely nothing but their personal paranoia and their Culture of Life fetish, around the world should be called what it is: a blatant exploitation of the vulnerable and helpless and of the emotions of good people who care. It was a lie fabricated to stir up their constituent reaction to the Schiavo case. Even more relevant, not content to tie abortion and adoption together (when they know there is no relationship), they are now linking safe havens and euthanasia. Every time you masturbate God kills a kitten. Every time you don't adopt a discarded infant, the state will kill it.
Unfortunately this back story won't get much play.
We are happy that Baby Lydia has found a home and we wish her well. We hope that the safe haven mack daddies crawl back into their pimp mobiles and drive into some other neighborhood and leave future Lydias--and ethical practice-- alone. Unfortunately, they won't.
Bastardette has been remiss in posting this week. There are four blogs being fact checked as I write, and some of them should be posted this week.