Last week, I was all sorts of appalled to learn that a pregnant woman had sold the right to name her baby for $5,000. I found it unbelievable that anyone would be so callous as to offer up the right to name their own child for a few bucks. Well, it turns out it was truly unbelievable -- because it was all just a big hoax.
The story, which came from Belly Ballot, a website that lets your friends and family vote on your baby name via Facebook and other social media, claimed that a woman named Natasha Hill had won their contest. In exchange for $5,000, she was going to let the Internet name her baby.
Only there was no baby, and there was no Natasha Hill. Rather the picture in the promo materials that the site ran were those of an actress named Natasha Lloyd -- who isn't even pregnant. She and the website confessed to Today Moms. Their explanation was lame, at best.
"We came up with the idea for the contest and we knew it would be controversial," Lacey Moler, founder of Belly Ballot told Today Moms. “But we’re a start-up and we wanted to control the situation.”
First of all, it's outrageous and unethical that any company would do this, and being a start-up has nothing to do with it. It's definitely not a way to build consumer confidence, and it would certainly make me leery of using their site. All publicity simply is NOT good publicity.
Beyond that though, the story gets even more bleak. Belly Ballot originally claimed that 80 women entered the contest, but later revealed none did. Which initially actually restores some faith in the parents of this country ... until Moler revealed that since the winner was announced, real applications from moms wanting to sell their babies' name have come pouring in. Sigh.
I would like to say it's unbelievable that so many would be willing to sell this special part of their child's life, but sadly it's not.
What do you think about this being a hoax? Can you believe that many women want to sell the right to their child's name?
Image via Alan O'Rourke/Flickr