craigslist

New Jersey Family Sought $20,000 to Name Baby Girl

Pregnant woman in a sunset in the park. Photo: Shutterstock / nacroba

Taking their cue from a tried-and-true fundraising technique, one New Jersey family tried to sell the right to name their baby.

The post on the Central Jersey Craigslist, which appeared Jan. 23, said a Jewish family had just given birth to their ninth daughter, and they were taking bids on the new name, starting at $20,000.

"This is an excellent opportunity for someone who did not have children, or someone looking to honor a relative, or even to honor someone who was killed in the Holocaust," read the ad, which has since been removed for violating the site’s terms of service.

Responsible Adults

Editor's Note: In a recent New York Times op-ed, Nicholas Kristof slammed Village Voice Media’s Backpage.com for refusing to shut down its adult services section, which has repeatedly been linked to the sex trafficking of young girls. Check out a sneak preview of Associate Editor Zab Palmberg’s forthcoming piece in the March issue of Sojourners Magazine about the faith community’s response to Backpage: 

The Internet makes it easier to sell your old bicycle — but, as a growing interfaith coalition of clergy is emphasizing, it shouldn’t make it easier to sell children for sex.

Two years ago, under pressure from anti-trafficking activists and 17 state attorneys general, Craigslist shut down its “adult services” section. Now, researchers say, the leading online purveyor of “adult” classified ads — which, as numerous criminal cases have shown, include ads pimps use to traffic children they have entrapped — is BackPage.com, owned by Village Voice Media.

Lawyers' Surreal World and the Fight Against Selling Children

When three dozen prominent clergy (including Jim Wallis) signed an ad in the New York Times saying that the best way to stop the sex trafficking of children on Backpage was to shut down that website's "adult" section, the company's response was awfully familiar to me. Rather than accepting this advice from the clergy--which was the same as the urging of the attorneys general of 48 U.S. states plus three territories--Backpage went on the defensive.

This reminded me, a lot, of the time I spent last summer talking with a lawyer for Craigslist, following up on Sojourners' anti-child-trafficking story Selling Our Children.

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