Adoption ad raises eyebrows - FOX 13 News

Adoption ad raises eyebrows

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Scroll down the Facebook postings for Tampa garage sales and you'll find a wanted ad from a single mom looking for someone to adopt her baby.

"For prospective parents, they really don't know if she's really pregnant, what her situation is, and whether she truly plans to put her baby up for adoption." says Jeanne Tate, an attorney with Heart of Adoption.

Tate has been an adoption attorney for 30 years in Tampa and says look out, especially if you're hoping and praying to adopt a baby.

"What would immediately come to my mind, as someone that's seen things like this and been involved in things like that, is a trap for the unwary. Someone that is certainly on the antennae level for looking at, scamming, or trafficking, or worse," Tate said.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is investigating whether it's a hoax or a post from a real mother. If it is real, experts say, so are the dangers.

"Because it's posted on a garage sale site and that doesn't seem very appropriate.," says Kelli Wild, a specialist with A Woman's Place helping pregnant women understand all of their options. However, she says, placing ad on Facebook and other social media sites shouldn't be one of them.

"Anyone could respond to that," Wild said. "My concern is really for her. What kind of crisis might you be in to feel that this might be the best option for you right now?"

"I think social media has really transformed adoption and not so much in a good way," Tate says.

Experts say these posts are not the norm, but they're turning up more than ever.

"There's no regulation. There's no oversight. And there's no assurance on either side that the person you're speaking to is what they've represented," Tate says.

Investigators say tracking down the origin can be tough, since anyone around the world could have posted it. If they do find the person, Florida law makes it a crime to advertise that a child is available to adopt, or that a child is wanted for adoption.

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