Danny Stewart and Pete Mercurio are a gay couple that found an abandoned baby on the subway, and decided to adopt him! It all happened when Danny was rushing to meet Pete for dinner when he spotted something unusual on the floor of a New York subway station. As he was hurrying out of the station on August 28, 2000, he noticed a baby tucked up against the wall. He first thought that it was a doll and wondered why would someone leave it there, but when he glanced one more time, he noticed that his legs moved. He quickly ran back and realized that it was a baby boy wrapped in a dark sweatshirt.
Danny recalled that the baby didn’t have any clothes on, and he was just wrapped in a sweatshirt. In fact, even his umbilical cord was still intact, so he was a newborn – 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 immediately ran up the starts to a payphone and called 911, before running back to check if the baby was okay while he waited for the police to arrive. He then called his partner as the police were carrying the baby away to be taken for a check-up at the hospital.
Pete told Danny that he’s going to be connected to that baby in some way for the rest of his life, so they were wondering where the baby would leave so they can send him a birthday gift every year on that date.
The couple returned to their daily lives, when Danny was asked by the Administration for Children’s Services to attend a family court hearing and testify how he had found the baby. The judge asked him if he could stay for the entire hearing, and the next thing out of her mouth was to ask him if he would be interested in adopting the 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.'” – he added.
He did feel connected to the baby, and felt like this was a gift. Although the couple was first afraid about the practical aspects of raising a child, it all changed when they took him in from his foster home.
The couple felt an ‘instant wave of warmth’ when they held their son for the first time in their arms. They officially adopted the baby on December 17, 2002, and named him Kevin.
The boy is now a 20-years-old college student who plays ultimate frisbee, runs marathons, and is a prominent dancer. Pete has since written a children’s book about their family’s story named Our Subway Baby, and in the book, he writes that Kevin is an empathic, kind, and respectful kid.
This is what Danny added to the story:
“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.”