Gay couple finds abandoned baby on the subway and raises him as their own child

This kindhearted gay couple found an abandoned child and raised him as their own son. 

  • A gay couple found a deserted newborn on a NY subway station back in 2000. 
  • The pair initially had no intentions of adopting the child, but life had other plans. 
  • The abandoned baby boy is now a 20-year-old promising college student. 

A dinner date turned into the most amazing moment in Danny Stewart and Pete Mercurio’s life. Back in 2000, on August 28, as Danny was rushing to meet his loved one, he saw an abandoned baby boy on a New York subway station. As Upworthy describes, the child was tucked up against a wall, wrapped in a dark sweatshirt, with his tiny legs sticking out.

Credits: Pete Mercurio

Speaking to BBC, Stewart, a social worker, said:

“He didn’t have any clothes on, he was just wrapped up in this sweatshirt. His umbilical cord was still partially intact, so I could tell he was a newborn. I was thinking maybe a day or so old. He did look up and I stroked his head and then he whimpered a little bit. It seemed really unreal, the whole situation, and at that point, I was trying to alert people to what was happening, but I couldn’t get anybody’s attention.”

Danny realized the newborn was deserted, so he rushed to the nearest payphone to call the police.

Credits: Pete Mercurio

By the time Pete arrived at the station, the cops were already carrying the baby to be taken to the hospital for a check-up. Mercurio, a playwright and web designer, recalls:

“I remember turning to Danny and saying to him on the sidewalk as the police car was driving away, ‘You know, you’re going to be connected to that baby in some way for the rest of your life.'”

The couple initially decided to find out where the child ends up and to send him a birthday present every year on the date they met him.

A single court hearing entirely changed the couple’s lives. 

A few months later, Danny received an invitation to attend a court hearing regarding the abandoned child’s case. The invitation was sent by the Administration for Children’s Services, who asked him to testify how he had found the boy. But Stewart had no idea the judge would straightforwardly ask him if he and his partner would like to actually adopt the baby. He shares:

“The next thing out of her mouth was, ‘Would you be interested in adopting this baby?’ I think most of the mouths dropped in the courtroom, including mine. I said, ‘Yes, but I don’t think it’s that easy,’ and the judge smiled and she said, ‘Well, it can be.'”

Credits: Pete Mercurio

Although the couple had not even thought about adopting the child, they did feel they had a special connection with him. However, Pete was quite hesitant about the idea. While he did want to father the baby boy together with his significant other, he was concerned about the complications that inevitably come along while raising a child.

But Mercurio’s opinion completely changed after he and Stewart visited the child at his foster home.

This time, they were on the same page that the place was far from an ideal environment for the baby. And when Pete held the little one in his arms for the very first time, he felt an “instant wave of warmth.” Describing the fateful moment, he says:

“The baby squeezed my finger with his entire hand so hard. He was just staring up at me and I was just looking at him, and it was almost like he found a pressure point in my finger that just opened up my heart to my head and showed me in that moment that I could be one of his parents, one of his dads.”

Credits: Pete Mercurio

The gay couple officially adopted the child at the end of 2002. 

Danny and Pete were beyond grateful when they could finally become the legal parents of their son Kevin on December 17, 2002. A few years later, after the state of New York legalized gay marriage, they got married by the very same judge that helped them adopt their son.

Today, Kevin is a 20-year-old promising college student. He has interests in sports and marathons and has danced for the National Dance Institute ever since he was 14.

Credits: Pete Mercurio

Inspired by their own story, Mercurio wrote a children’s book called “Our Subway Baby.” As of his beloved son,  Pete says:

“Kevin’s always been a respectful kid. He’s empathic and kind. He keeps his emotions close to the vest. He’s an observer, doesn’t crave or seek attention. He’s a private person, but also a quiet leader.”

Danny adds:

“I can’t imagine my life if it didn’t turn out this way. My life has become much more enriched and full. It has changed my world view, my perspective, my whole lens.”

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