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Hospital child theft? 18 women suspect that babies they were told died are actually alive

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(NaturalNews) A now-shuttered hospital facility in St. Louis, Missouri, that catered strictly to African-Americans during the days of segregation has made national news. More than a dozen women who gave birth there back in the 1950s have come forward with allegations that their children, who were pronounced dead at the time, might have actually been kidnapped by the hospital and sold to foster families.

The Homer G. Phillips Hospital, which closed in 1979, was a black-only hospital that might have been involved in a covert scheme "to steal newborns of color for marketing in private adoption transactions," wrote attorney Albert Watkins in a recent letter to Missouri State Governor Jay Nixon and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. This is based on more than just speculation; Watkins decided to pen the letter after hearing the amazing story of Zella Jackson Price, one of the women seeking answers to a strange series of events that recently took place in her life.

As reported by WKRN News 2, Price gave birth to a daughter at Homer G. Phillips back in 1965 when she was just 26 years old. Not long after the birth, Price was told by a nurse, rather than a doctor, that her daughter had died, although she was never shown a body or a death certificate. According to several other women who have since come forward with similar stories, it was just a matter of trust back then to assume that doctors and nurses were honest about such matters.

Fast forward 50 years and it turns out that what Price was told by hospital staff was a lie; her daughter had lived and had actually been secretly transferred to a foster family who told her that her mother had voluntarily given her up for adoption. The girl, whose name is Melanie Gilmore, had been living in Eugene, Oregon, until she became privy to scheme when trying to find her actual birth mother.

"She looked like me," exclaimed Price upon being reunited with her daughter. "She was so excited and full of joy. It was just beautiful. I'll never forget that."

St. Louis Mayor planning to file lawsuit on behalf of all the women whose babies might have been stolen from them

It was a bittersweet experience for Price, who admittedly felt cheated out of getting to be involved in her daughter's life. However, it's nothing compared to the continued grief that at least 18 other women just like Price, who had also given birth to children at Homer G. Phillips who were pronounced dead, now face as they speculate about their own children's fate.

Mayor Watkins says that since Price's reunion with her daughter, she's received calls from a number of these women who want to know if their own "dead" children might have been marketed to foster families as well. All of them gave birth at the hospital between the mid-1950s and the mid-1960s, suggesting that it might have happened regularly.

"These are moms," says Watkins. "They are mothers at the end of their lives seeking answers to a lifelong hole in their heart."

Watkins is planning to file a lawsuit on behalf of all the women involved, which will demand access to the birth and death records of their supposedly "dead" children. None of the women are seeking monetary damages; they simply want to know whether or not their children are out there somewhere wondering about their mothers.

"When you're young and someone comes and tells you that your baby's dead, in those days you accepted it," stated Gussie Parker, another women who speculates that her premature daughter who was pronounced dead might have actually been transferred to a foster family without her consent.

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