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Delaware Mother Pleads Guilty to Trying to Sell Her Child

Bridget Wismer and John Gavaghan

It's difficult to tell whether this story is an argument for or against the adoption process.

Last October, 34-year-old Bridget Wismer of Delaware was arrested at her home for trying to perpetrate a disturbing and decidedly non-maternal transaction. Specifically, Wismer was trying to sell her two-month-old baby to a complete stranger for $15,000. And yes, that's all. $15,000 is apparently the going rate for children in Delaware.

Wismer had been caught on surveillance camera arranging the final steps of the transaction with John Gavaghan of Philadelphia, who was also arrested at the time.

Now, these two parentally impaired individuals have pled guilty to what they had previously only been accused of. NBC10 Philadelphia reports:

The baby boy was born on Aug. 31 and according to court papers, Wismer didn't want the child.

In early September, detectives were tipped off by Wismer's grandmother, according to police. They investigated, but couldn't substantiate the baby-selling accusation. In late September, police got another tip that led them to the place where Wismer and Gavaghan met to finalize the deal.

On Sept. 30, two days after Gavaghan had allegedly taken the 1-month-old boy home, police arrested Gavaghan at his Philadelphia apartment and placed the baby in foster care. Wismer was arrested that same day at her home. The two were indicted by a Superior Court Grand Jury on October 24 to dealing in children, falsifying a birth certificate and conspiracy.

During a court appearance today, Wismer pleaded guilty but also mentally ill to one count of falsifying a birth certificate, which is a felony. Prosecutors agreed that Wismer’s guilty but mentally ill plea was appropriate in light of a psychological diagnosis provided by Psychologist Dr. Abraham Mensch. Gavaghan also pleaded guilty to one count of falsifying a birth certificate. Both Wismer and Gavaghan face up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine. Their sentencing is set for August 17.

If you're worried about the child, no worries. Delaware's Department of Family Services is keeping him completely safe.

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