Adopting a Baby by Billboard: Clever or Crass?


adoption billboardAdd this to the unexpected costs that crop up when trying to adopt a child. In an act that's either incredibly brave or incredibly desperate, a Michigan couple eager to adopt a child of their very own has just put up a $2,000 a month billboard to make it happen.

Hey, with estimates that there are seven hopeful couples out there for every one birth mom, sometimes you just have to go the extra mile to become a parent. Now for the big question: will it pay off or is it a big fat turn off?

Josh and Wendy Rougeau are looking at this as an investment in the future of their family. But it could just as easily go the other way. Billboards are the places where people fight out political statements, where the PETA alternately disgusts and amuses us, where you find a lawyer's number on your way to jail in the back of a police car. They're not the place you look for parents for your unborn child.

In fact, none of the methods the Rougeaus have used are typical for finding a baby. They've had t-shirts printed up, left cards marketing themselves as Mom and Dad around town. You have wonder what's next? Sitting in an OB/GYN's office with "Pick Us for Your Fetus" pencils in your hand, ready to sign your baby away?

The Rougeaus would make excellent campaign managers for the next town mayor, but politicians get terms of two to six years at most. This is the decision of a lifetime. I'd hate to think a birth mother would take it so lightly.

I'm sure the couple did this with best intentions possible. I know what it's like to want to be a parent desperately, and now that I am one, I can't begrudge anyone the desire to be in my shoes. And after struggling with infertility, and not getting anywhere with their adoption agency, they're just working every angle. But I'm the type of person who wouldn't hire a lawyer off of a billboard. Would this turn you off?

Image via ABC12

adoption, infertility


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Elaine Penn

disgusting - in my eyes, it's human trafficking... if you can't advertise and pay for a kidney, how can you advertise and pay for a baby??? tens of thousands goes to BUYING a baby -- gross

careb... carebear1138

When you adopt a child you also pay for it too.. even if its just cost costs you are paying money for a child. There is a limit on the amount you pay for an adoption.

What do you think people are doing when they go to an adoption agency???? The agent is going around trying to find a family that wants a baby or a mother that doesn't want/cant's keep her baby. Its all human trafficking to a degree. I say if it works and they find a woman that needs a home for her baby then more power to them... nowhere does it say in the ad that they are BUYING a on a black market.

I am adopted...My adoptive family got $440/month for 16 years to have me in there house.. it is compensation for having an extra child in the house.

I am sure you can put an ad up asking for organ donation.. but not SELLING..actually I know it is legal to ask for donation..there are ads 24/7 about bone marrow donors/blood donors/and becoming organ donors. The two are sooo freaking different.

MrsNe... MrsNewman

i would never give my child to a couple that went that far ... makes them look a little nutty.

Subur... SuburbanMomma

I am going to take the contrarian approach...I see a couple that wants a baby very badly and is doing anything they can to expedite the slow and painful process.  I have had friends who pined for a baby for years and it was just gut-wrenching to watch.  This couple isn't sitting back and waiting, they are putting themselves out there in the hope that the right pair of eyes see their plea.  I am sure that they know that this is a (very) long shot, but if it gives them hope that one day, their child will find it's way to them, then all the power to them.  Plus, if I saw this on my way home, it would remind me to give my girls an extra kiss and cuddle, and to count my blessings since I cannot imagine the pain of wanting and not having.

nonmember avatar Joy

So how will billboard baby feel someday when he finds out he was solicited with a billboard ad? Like a commodity? Like a piece of merchandise?
Carebear: Yours was not an infant adoption. Therefore there was not a high price tag on you. Sorry. Your parents were compensated to have you. When it comes to healthy, newborn babies, you are kidding yourself if you think it isn't buying a baby. The mother surrenders the baby to an agency & other than paying court fees and a small lawyer fee (Home study etc) there should not be heavy fees for this newborn baby without legal entanglements. But you know, the wanna-be-parents mortgage their homes to try to get one these days. Because everyone want beaucoup dollars for this hot seller. $40K, $50K, $80K??? Who knows? Whatever the market will bear. How do you think movie stars and the rich get their babies so quickly? They grease palms to make it happen. How is that not baby buying? I hate to use the term baby selling because people take that to mean the parents selling the child. Nope.....they Surrender the baby and the doctor/lawyer/agency etc all get exorbit "fees". But they aren't buying a are taking some baby that no one wanted and are doing a humanatarium rescue! Yeppers. THEIR baby needed them. No matter that the signature was taken from a mom under duress....who felt she had no options.
Billboards......just like ads in newspapers...which many states do not allow!! Good for those states!

nonmember avatar Joy

SuburbanMomma: Can you imagine the lifetime of pain for the mother who felt she had to surrender her baby? Or the one that does surrender with the promise of an open adoption but as soon as the adoption is finalized the adoptive parents say Adios to the first parents? Then never let her see her baby again? How gut-wrenching is this to watch? Do you really feel that some young mother owes her child to your childless friends? If your friend was blind, do you think some poor girl would owe them her eyes because they had money and she didn't.
There's a story about adoption: A babysitter was being after babysitting for a couple's adopted child. She asked the mother why the real mother couldn't keep her baby? The adoptive mother explained that she was young and poor and couldn't afford to take care of her baby. The naive teenager then says,"Couldn't you have given her money to help her instead of taken away her little baby?"

Mark Plotczyk

Literally - by definition - this is public human commerce (trafficking). Are there No Boundaries any more? Is nothing private and personal and sacrosanct? I am adopted. What am I a 'scratch ticket?' Are my parents going to sit back and tell me the "how we got you with the Big Billboard story"? I don't care how "heartfelt" the parents' story is - how wonderful they are - how loving (according to them) they are. To Roll the Die of Fate publicly - on a billboard - for some newborn, who has no say and never will, is peverse.

Brian-Samantha Franklin

Children are not commodities, except in adoption. Until all marketing and money is removed from the adoption process and all adult adoptees are restored the same right as every other American to own thier original birth certificate, adoption is simply child-selling/trafficking.

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