CLEVELAND -- Some people have allegedly used them to trick husbands and boyfriends. Many people think they are a cultural low. Whatever your opinion, there is no denying the explosion of items on the market to help women fake pregnancies.
The ads are straightforward. One on Craigslist from Ocala, Florida, says "I'm pregnant and willing to sell you my pee or positive pregnancy test." For just $10 it could be yours. Another Craigslist posts says, "I am currently pregnant and am willing to sell the positive pregnancy test to any women in need of it...no questions asked!!!!"
According to a pregnant woman who doesn't want to be identified there's a market for them.
" her listing says.
A camera crew from First Coast News, our Gannett sister station in Jacksonville, Florida, drove to meet the woman outside a gas station in Orlando. They gave the woman two unopened pregnancy tests. She took them into the bathroom and walked out a short time later. In exchange for $25 she gave them two positive pregnancy tests.
The disclaimer on the woman's post says the tests are for prank purposes only and not for anyone under 18. She declined to talk on camera but did agree to a phone interview.
"Obviously even if it is a prank is to make them think they are pregnant, that's the purpose of the prank, but there's no way that it would go further. Hopefully, if their significant other was intelligent enough, they would go to the doctor's office with them," she explained.
But you don't need a pregnant woman to get your hands on a positive pregnancy test. A listing on eBay has a video demonstrating how the bogus tests work. "This is plain tap water. Any liquid will trigger this test to come up positive" The fine print says, "These tests could potentially cause emotional stress or negative consequence if used irresponsibly. You, the purchaser acknowledge and warrant that you are 100% responsible for any adverse reaction or damages incurred by inappropriate use."
So are they illegal?
"It's my understanding it's legal to sell them but the people who are buying them are buying them for deceptive purposes," said adoption attorney Michael Shorstein. He explained when it crosses the line. "It comes in when the person who has bought it and knows they are not pregnant goes to use it to procure funds. That is deception. It's illegal."
Shorstein says the sale of these controversial items has become prolific and directly impacts how he and many in the adoption arena now do business.
"We are petrified because of all of this material is out there. When a mother comes to us now, we will no longer accept medical records or any other information directly from her. We will now send a release directly to the doctor or lab so we get it from them. We don't trust anything we get from an individual," Shorstein said.
It's not just parents trying to adopt who could be impacted. Shorstein says the fake items could be used to pressure a boyfriend into marriage, get money from family or friends, and more. "It can affect people in a number of ways. One financially. Number two, emotionally because people who buy it can also go to their employer for example if they know their job is in jeopardy. If someone came to me as an employer and said 'I'm pregnant,' well, all of a sudden a job that was insecure becomes secure."
With the click of a mouse you can order fake bellies to make it look like you are pregnant, even fake DNA tests, prescription bottles and authentic looking ultrasounds that can be customized with your doctor's name and your personal information.
Shorstein has a word of warning for anyone thinking of buying a positive test. "Don't. It's illegal it's a crime and you can go to jail," warned Shorstein. First for you, Shorstein says a victim could ultimately go after the person who sold the questionable pregnancy tests or fake documents. His advice is don't sell them and don't buy them, and if someone claims to be pregnant and you have doubts he says get an independent pregnancy test which is very inexpensive and could save you a lot of heartache and money.