Story at a glance

  • To mark Father's Day, a gay couple revisited in a podcast their journey of adopting a baby boy they found abandoned in a subway station in August 2000.
  • He and his boyfriend, Pete Mercurio, went on to adopt the baby boy and wrote a children’s book about their story.

To mark Father's Day,  gay couple revisited their journey of adopting a baby boy they had found abandoned in a subway station with the podcast "Gays with Kids."

In August 2000, social worker Danny Stewart was taking the New York City subway to meet his boyfriend, Pete Mercurio, for dinner when something caught his attention near the exit stairs of the 14th Street station. Initially thinking it was a doll, Stewart started to move past it when he noticed the legs moving. He rushed back down to find it was a newborn baby boy with his umbilical cord still attached.

"He looked up, and I stroked his head and then he whimpered a little bit," Stewart said. "It seemed really unreal, the whole situation. At that point, I was trying to alert people to what was happening, but I couldn't get anybody's attention." 


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After Stewart alerted police and Mercurio, who ran to the station to meet him, authorities responded to take the baby to the hospital to be evaluated. 

For months, the couple were unable to learn about the baby’s condition, until they received a call from the Administration for Children’s Services asking for Stewart to attend a family court hearing to shed light on that day’s events.

At the hearing, during which it was said that authorities had still been unable to locate the baby’s biological parents or relatives, the judge asked Stewart a life-changing question

. "And then 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," Stewart said. "I said, 'Yes. But I don't think it's that easy.' And the judge smiled and she said, 'Well, it can be.'"


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Now, almost 21 years later, the couple is married, and their son, who they named Kevin, has been with them ever since.

"The way we became parents was like having an unplanned pregnancy," Mercurio joked. "As much as two gay men can."

Kevin is now in college studying mathematics and computer science, and Mercurio released a children’s book in September 2020 on their experience, titled, "Our Subway Baby."


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Published on Jun 23, 2021