Does the Enquirer’s ‘Scientology Baby Black Market’ story have new information?

We’ve heard for years that Scientology cult members are pressured to not have relationships, that they’re pressured to not have babies, and that they’re regularly subjected to abortions when they fall pregnant. We’ve also heard that their childcare facilities are horrific and neglectful. Leah Remini has confirmed these stories, as have other ex Scientologists. So The National Enquirer’s cover story about Scientology’s Baby Black Market doesn’t seem surprising on the surface, until you read the article and realize that the cover is misleading. The tabloid spoke to a former politician from Florida who would regularly procure babies for celebrities, including Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, Burt Reynolds and Loni Anderson, and Sally Kellerman*, through personal connections. There have been rumors that Cruise and Kidman’s children, where were turned against her by Scientologists after the divorce, were Scientology-adopted babies. The Enquirer’s story states that these children were adopted on a kind of baby black market by this woman who would connect destitute moms with celebrities and other people of means. This was of course illegal, but it was not specific to Scientologists, although she did have several clients from the cult.

Celebrity Scientologists and other Hollywood stars procured innocent children – born to struggling dirt-poor mothers – on a baby black market where money made the rules!

That’s the chilling analysis of a shocking “celebrity adoption” scheme uncovered during an exhaustive 10-month investigation by The National Enquirer!

A wide range of A-listers, including Scientology cult members Tom Cruise and then-wife Nicole Kidman, Kirstie Alley and John Travolta, used the sleazy “baby broker” business that boomed in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Burt Reynolds, now ex-wife Loni Anderson and other stars have also been named as clients!

The Enquirer can reveal former Florida politician Mary Hinton acted as the go-between for stars wanting to adopt, according to a well-placed insider…

Hinton gushed to an insider about Cruise’s adoption of daughter Bella – and how she was at the courthouse for the adoption hearing on July 23, 1993…

[Sally] Kellerman’s mother-in-law, Lorraine Krane, praised Hinton for bringing grandchildren into her life.

“Mary is a wonderful person. All the adoptions she arranged happened by word of mouth. Disadvantaged women begged her to take their children when they needed help and couldn’t afford it.

“Mary could find a home with someone wealthy who could take care of babies who would have otherwise been on welfare or taken by the state.

“Those babies have amazing lives now. I don’t know if the mothers were paid… Mary would hand them over to an attorney.

“Everyone who wanted to give up a child would call Mary Hinton – and if you wanted a baby, you’d call Mary Hinton.”

[From The National Enquirer, print edition]

Scientology regularly uses slave labor to do all kinds of domestic and construction work for celebrities, and I assumed that these adoptions were achieved similarly. Maybe they were in some cases but again The Enquirer’s story is about an adoption black market for high profile clients. It’s easy to assume that it was an insider situation as this cult is regularly engaged in criminal behavior and human rights abuses. Plus it’s been reported that Cruise and Kidman’s first child, Bella, whom this article references, was born to a Scientologist mother. I guess the main scandal here is that not only that these adoptions weren’t on the level, according to this story, but that the children went to the highest bidder. At least the adopted babies were well cared for and loved, if not educated or taught to think critically. (Assuming that they went to Scientology schools, and the Cruise children did.) Also, this is about adoptions in the 80s and 90s. Surely this kind of thing is still happening and is just being kept quiet.

*An earlier version of this story listed John Travolta and Kirstie Alley among Hinton’s clients. The article stated that Hinton found babies to star in “Look Who’s Talking,” not that she assisted adoptions for either celebrity. It also claimed that she arranged adoptions for Travolta’s manager.

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81 Responses to “Does the Enquirer’s ‘Scientology Baby Black Market’ story have new information?”

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  1. Ramona says:

    I dont put anything above Scientology but I have a hard time believing a magazine that also has a headline declaring the Ben and Jen are on a second honeymoon and another referring to Miranda Kerr and Jim Carrey are A listers.

    • HeidiM says:

      And when did the travolta’s adopt? I thought all 3 were their biological children?

    • Sam Lewis says:

      Despite the source, I believe this. I grew up in a similar cult and this is a huge money maker for pretty much all churches. In my former “church,” they essentially force unwed young mothers to a church-run hospital, send in church employees to preach about how adoption is best for the child, get her to sign over her rights whilst heavily drugged or under extreme duress, and then the church gets paid a lot of money to adopt the babies to their “forever” families (who themselves are under duress, being constantly told that they MUST have a family). They recently ended their adoption program to protect themselves from law suits.

      • Aurelia says:

        And let’s not forget the catholic church of Ireland made literally millions of dollars selling unwed mothers babies to wealthy Americans for $20,00 a throw. It was only stopped in the late 1970s along with enforced slavery of the Magdalene Laundry’s. Nice.

    • Marie says:

      Carrey is an A-lister

  2. littlemissnaughty says:

    “All the adoptions she arranged happened by word of mouth.” WTF? That is NOT how it’s supposed to work. This isn’t a job at McDonald’s. “Oy, I hear this woman has a kid. You should consider applying.”

    • ELX says:

      Welcome to the wonderful world of private adoption–a murky, noisome business. Surprise, surprise, If you have enough money, just about anything is for sale.

      • Mannori says:

        Having relatives who’ve been through hell and back trying to adopt, I’ve been always surprised by the speed and ease the adoptions for celebs happen: Cate Blanchett and Charlize Theron come to mind.

      • LizLemonGotMarried says:

        This is ABSOLUTELY true.
        You guys have seen me talk about our struggles to grow our family and consideration of adoption. We’ve been pushed HARDCORE to consider private adoption because it’s such a “fast” and “smooth” process compared to foster care and international adoption. For 30k-50K, I can have a brand new healthy infant within months, to quote 30 Rock, “pick a color.” Everyone we talk to dissuades us from considering state adoption once they get a look at our dossier.

    • Katia says:

      I was privately adopted out of Cocoa Beach, Florida…maybe I need to check more into this lol

  3. slowsnow says:

    I often wonder how hard it must be for Kidman, who always appears put together and balanced, to be away from her two first children. Seeing how she is holding them here breaks my heart.
    Are there other mothers or fathers in this situation? It must be hell on earth.

    • Luca76 says:

      If you ever watch Leah Remini’s Scientology show disconnection is pretty common and it happens all the time. I’d guess that most women with younger children probably wouldn’t experience this but the disconnection is usually what happens when anyone decides to leave.

      • slowsnow says:

        How brainswashed to you have to be to find this normal I wonder. It’s what several dictatorships tried to do to control the population.
        What puzzles me is that people go out of their way to state how wonderful Cruise is (Emily Blunt for instance) and the wonderful actress Elisabeth Moss is a scientologist too. I don’t understand this cult. Are there softer scientology churches?

      • Luca76 says:

        If you have any curiosity about Scientology I can’t recommend her show enough, that and Going Clear. There is only one church but the celebrities are treated differently than everyone else and given preferential treatment.

    • Triple Cardinal says:

      I’ve read reports over the years that said Nicole was mostly aloof toward the kids. Allegedly, she was hands-on only in public.

      • Alyce says:

        Hi Scientology PR!!! ^

      • jwoolman says:

        The reports you read in a Scientology waiting room don’t count.

      • shura says:

        Is it possible the shady Scientology adoption ring experience created a situation where mother/child bonding was difficult? I could buy that. Maybe.

      • Triple Cardinal says:

        Ah, nice try, but…no. Not Scientology. Just a devout atheist.
        And a moviegoer who’s now underwhelmed by her performances. I’ve enjoyed a number of her films, but they’re now the earlier ones – To Die For, Practical Magic, Interpreter, etc. But when she went into her eccentric phase, I just lost interest.

        And, like it or not, I’ve heard, over the years, of some poor behavior on her part when it came to her first two kids, such as handing them off to aides/nannies when the kids needed HER.

        I dunno…maybe that’s why there’s minimal contact?

      • Craven says:

        I doubt this. I think like most young working women she made a lot of sacrifices in the home department but so did he. The difference is that it was easier to vilłainise her because all their other caretakers were Scientologists. And in general the woman who isnt spending time with her children is “unforgiveable” while the man doing the same is understood.

      • someone says:

        I’ve always thought the reason Tom was able to alienate the kids from Nicole was due to his mother and sister helping him. His mom created a home life for Bella and Connor in Los Angeles while Tom was off making movies. Nicole was also moving around for movies and Tom’s Mom made a home base that was more appealing to teenagers. I think the reason he couldn’t do much about Suri was his mom was older by that time and in ill health so she couldn’t be the “female” backup he would have needed to try the same trick with Katie Holmes.

      • Luca76 says:

        The person who helped brainwash the kids against Nicole has spoken to the media. And more than one former Scientologist has said NK is considered a Suppresive Person. In fact Leah Remini claimed to have heard Isabella Cruise say it from her own mouth. So whether or not NK used nannies she was still alienated from her children.

    • lucy2 says:

      I can’t imagine the pain she went through with all of that. I’m glad she seems to have a happy family now, but that is a sadness that will never go away. An acquaintance of mine had her daughter turned away from her 25 years ago, and she’s still heartbroken.

      • jwoolman says:

        When the kids were younger, they would spend summers with her. But the
        scientologists did a number on the kids as they grew older, as confirmed by defectors. When the kids eventually didn’t want to visit her because they were convinced she was a bad person, she didn’t really have other options except to try to keep the door open by keeping her mouth shut about Scientology. Not sure if she has a chance with her son, he is very close to his dad and seemed to enjoy the Scientology ceremonies starring his dad. He was talked about as the heir apparent. Maybe Kidman has more of a chance with her daughter, who does say she is in routine contact with her mom. As the children of a celebrity and Scientology superstar, they don’t have the same constraints on them that non-celebrity children would have.

  4. hunter says:

    If the babies went to good loving homes I hardly see a problem with this. They weren’t kidnapped and sold into a lifetime of sex slavery.

    • Luca76 says:

      Wrong comment

    • Sarah says:

      The problem is, there were no safeguards in place to ensure they weren’t sold into sex slavery…

    • Va Va Kaboom says:

      No, they were sold to a cult, one known to use slave labor, though. In addition, the reason adoptions are regulated and you aren’t allowed to just sell your kid to the highest bidder, is because being wealthy doesn’t exclude a person from being abusive. If she sold as many children as the article implies you can almost guarantee a few went to decidedly unfit parents.

    • lunchcoma says:

      Part of the reason there is screening for adoption is that some people with the money to adopt children aren’t looking to provide them with loving homes.

      Also, if the birth mothers were Scientologists, there’s a real chance that some were forced into the adoption process.

    • Birdie says:

      what a naive way of looking at things

    • poorlittlerichgirl says:

      I’m kind of agreeing with you on this. This sounds like how the majority of adoptions are done. A birth mother that has little or no means finds a couple willing to adopt their child, it is done through the court system, birth mom gets paid handsomely for her offspring.

      The main issue here is that the children are being adopted by someone in a cult. The rest of the process seems pretty solid. I suppose there are worse things that could happen (like sexual slavery) but Scientology certainly won’t be a great upbringing either. The poor kid is screwed either way.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        No. That is not actually how it works. You may want to read up on it.

      • poorlittlerichgirl says:

        @littlemissnaughty Educate me. I’m listening.

      • LT says:

        No, that’s not at all how “most adoptions” work. That’s baby brokering and it’s a felony. Birth mothers are not paid for their kids. The adoptive parents are permitted to pay for some costs – what costs and how much depend on the state (different states have different laws).

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        @poorlittlerichgirl: What? No, sorry. You made an incorrect statement and now you want to lean back and let me explain? Wikipedia is a great start. The laws of your country are another. Then international adoption. Google is your friend.

      • Bridget says:

        That you think this is normal scares me.

      • poorlittlerichgirl says:

        @littlemissnaughty I’m not invested in this at all so I’m not going to use my time to research all types of adoption. If you want to show me real statistics to prove your point that’s fine. If not, I’m not bothered either way. Also, Wikipedia is in no way a reliable source of any information on any subject. Google probably isn’t that great nowadays either.

      • Cate says:

        My mother gave a child up for adoption. She did not receive one penny. I think you might be confusing adoption with surrogate pregnancies.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        @poorlittlerichgirl: You’re not interested at all yet you make a rather offensive statement and then say “I don’t even care.” And I’m supposed to take the time and research statistics for someone who doesn’t care. No. Wikipedia is an excellent tool if you’re starting on a subject and know how to research, how to check sources and how to read Wikipedia. It is always a great starting point if only to use the references and external links. You’re missing out if you refuse to utilize it.

      • Valois says:

        You claim to have no interest in this at all yet you make statements like “this is how the majority of adoptions are done”?

        How ignorantö

    • Cee says:

      They were SOLD. I don’t care if their biological parents were very poor and ignorant and desperate and and and and. No one should be able to buy another human being and then pass it off as a legal adoption. In my country this is called appropriation and results in stolen identities.

      If you don’t see the wrong in this…

      • Rene Besette says:

        What I find is interesting is that when you join as a nutbar interested in that crap, they make you sign a contract, basically giving up your rights as a human. Then I read that they made female slaves (no other way to put it) to abortion if they happen to oops get pregnant. The whole thing is sickening anyway you look at it, in my opinion.

    • Mannori says:

      this is the reasoning behind why these terrible things, like basically buying a child, happen. It goes both ways, there’s always someone so desperate willing to sell their child.

    • shura says:

      Possibly not sex slavery. Slavery though ……

    • geneva says:

      “hardly see a problem with it”… is just plain wrong…as a reference, you should watch Call the Midwife. It touches on the fact that poor English women..’east enders’ sometimes had to choose between adoption and feeding another child. No matter what the conditions, poverty should not be a reason for a woman to ‘give up’ her own child. So much pressure to do must go on all the time behind the scenes

  5. Goldie says:

    I remember Nicole herself once stated that there was a complicated backstory behind the adoption of her children. She made a cryptic comment about it in a Vanity Fair interview.

    • Don't kill me I am French says:

      I always thought that Cruise/Kidman’s children were adopted by public adoption agency.I remember they waited 3 years to have their adoption agreement.( I don’t know the name for public authorization to adopt)

    • homeslice says:

      YES!!! the one where she wore a sailor hat on the cover! I remember it vividly and it always stuck with me. I’d pay a lot to read her tell-all!

  6. Jan says:

    The National Enquirer is so far up Trump’s a** I wouldn’t believe a word they print. Don’t judge me but I used to read every once in awhile just to see how much they could lie about something. Not any more, not a penny going to a crony/hatchet man of Tiny Hands.

  7. Rianic says:

    Hasn’t Kidman said that Bella’s story would someday come out?

  8. Birdie says:

    When will Scientology go down? Honestly, they pull all these illegal stunts, yet they never have any problems with the law.

    • Algernon says:

      It will never go down, unless and until the population of “believers” dwindles away. The IRS/US govt is never going to rescind their religious exemption because then it would open the door to people demanding, say, the Catholic church be revoked as well. If they set the precedent of being able to revoke tax-exempt status, people will start coming for “legitimate” churches as well, so they’ll never do it. We just have to wait for $cientology to peter out on its own, which it will because they’re already seeing big drops in new recruits. They’re also struggling internationally, as countries that don’t kowtow to organized religion like the US are either denying them the ability to establish new “churches” or (correctly) labelling them a cult and kicking them out. It will take a while here in the US, but give it a couple more decades and you’ll see them fade out.

  9. SoulSPA says:

    Scientology is not a church. Churches are related to Christianity. Scientology is a cult/freak show/dictatorship. It blows my mind thinking it still exists with all public criticism against it. Have there been any investigations into allegations of disappearances, mental and physical torture, work in slavery-like conditions and so on? There’s been too much criticism for too long. Why do they still exist? Money?

    • Algernon says:

      Yes, there have been investigations, particularly in Clearwater, FL, and there are other stories out there of local law enforcement keeping a close eye on their facilities in their areas. People definitely know what’s up. The problem is as long as they’re recognized as a religion, they can’t do much more than go after the occasional “bad apple.” The precedent that would be set by a federal effort to take down a recognized church would open the door to people then demanding that the Catholic church be abolished as well, because of the sex abuse scandals (for instance). The best we can hope for is that they just fade away on their own as recruitment is way down.

  10. lucy2 says:

    I always heard that Tom was on the outs with Scientology when he and Nicole got together, but maybe he was still in it to some extent? I know he went off the deep end with it when he dumped her.

    • Don't kill me I am French says:

      Cruise ‘s entourage still was very involved in Sciento cult but it is true that Tom Cruise was less close.When Kidman and Cruise started to have marital troubles ( during Eyes Wide Shut),Cruise brung closer of Sciento

  11. Bridget says:

    I don’t think that the kids went to the highest bidder per se, but rather went to people that were willing to pay Mary a finders fee. At least, that’s my guess.

  12. Giulia says:

    Would not be at all surprised if Scientology has some sort of lebensborn program for their cultists. But from what could find, private, or independepent, adoption itself is legit. Typical Scientology more to twist laws to their advantage, like church tax exemption.

  13. homeslice says:

    Nicole made a very cryptic statement years ago about her adopted children…something to the effect of, I can’t talk about it, but how the adoptions came about, but the truth will be told one day…

    That always stuck with me. Of course there’s something shady with babies and scientology…duh.

    PS…I’d pay a fortune to read a tell all from Nicole!!!

  14. Mannori says:

    the rules which your talk about in the first part of the post doesn’t apply to celebrity members: as basically living nd breathing PR subjects for the cult, they are not expected to live by those rules, almost abusive if not plain illegal, which applies to other cult members and You said well that celebrities even take advantage of basically underpaid hired help which are lesser cult members. Leah attained how they’re treated like royalty, which for the bunch of C-D listers that are the most, is pretty alluring. One example is the donor for Danny Masterson’s wife kidney (whose illness I’ve never bought and I totally believe her problems are related to drug use and therefore the madness of Scientology’s treatment at Narcanon: google it for your horrific pleasure) The donor is a longtime scientologist and bandmate of Masterson.Yes he has a shitty band. Of course he willingly did it, but they’re so brainwashed and stupid that they believe they’re a family and they sacrifice for the celebrity members.

  15. JustJen says:

    This is somewhat off topic, but both Kidman and Cruise have biological children…they were much younger when they adopted. Why adopt? I’m not being flippant, I’m genuinely curious. Maybe he wanted kids and she didn’t yet, so this was their compromise?

    • Aren says:

      I heard Cruise couldn’t have children though.

    • Peanutbuttr says:

      Could be a number of reasons such as believing you couldn’t have children naturally. I knew someone who adopted because she wasn’t sure if she could have them (she had cancer as a teenager) and about two years after adopting, got pregnant.

      • JustJen says:

        Actually, now that you mention that, I remembered a classmate of my daughter’s. Her mom adopted her older sister because she was straight out told she could never have kids, then two years later she was pregnant. She has a condition where she was born with two sets of reproductive organs but was told neither worked.

    • Bridget says:

      Kidman’s bio kids were carried by surrogates and Cruise’s reportedly had major monitoring through pregnancy (the word has long been that it’s a genetic condition from his side that they were worried about).

      • Tourmaline says:

        Nicole carried her daughter Sunday. Her daughter Faith was carried by a surrogate.

    • islandwalker says:

      Nicole had several miscarriages during their marriage.

    • Cee says:

      Some people are not biologically compatible for reproduction, and I think this was their case. My cousin and his wife are going through the same situation – married for 12 years, actively trying to get pregnant for 10, now ready to face two rounds of IVF as a last effort to have biological children. Both of them together are a “bad match” in terms of reproduction resulting in pregnancies.

    • Jaded says:

      She had a couple of miscarriages so they decided to adopt. There may be a genetic predisposition on Tom’s side that caused it. I still think Suri, who he hasn’t seen in several years because she and Katie Holmes are ‘Suppressive Persons’, isn’t genetically his. She’s a dead ringer for Tommy Davis who has conveniently disappeared from his Sci PR job and is now some kind of financial consultant in Arizona.

      • Lizzie says:

        You are totally right about Davis! I always thought it was the Mapother cousin, but she’s a clone of this guy.

    • Aloe Vera says:

      I think they had had a miscarriage or two and were finding it really difficult to have one naturally.

  16. Felicia says:

    This is exactly the sort of thing that goes on in all of those 2nd and 3rd world “foreign orphanages” as well. I would guess that the adoptive parents probably don’t realize it at the time and maybe never do unless the agency they use get’s called out.
    Wasn’t there some shady story about Madonna’s son from Malawi? The woman who arranged the adoption of Maddox was jailed. On a less celebrity note, there was a French charity several years back who were caught trying to smuggle over 100 kids out of Chad and those kids all had new parents who had paid the charity to adopt. There were a bunch of Baptist Church members caught smuggling 33 kids who were not orphans out of Haiti after the earthquake in 2010.

    There may well be some sort of screening going on, one would hope so. But at the same time, one has to wonder just how “devoted” these agencies and charities are to the future well-being of these children when they are willing to break the law for money to obtain them in the first place. And that is not to mention those who’s only motive is a 50k profit per child and who probably have a “puppy farm” mentality towards the whole thing.

    • Tourmaline says:

      The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption by Kathryn Joyce is a really good book on the subject.

      • Felicia says:

        Thank you for that recommendation. I’ve spent a lot of time in these sorts of countries and have seen firsthand the “economics” of this sort of thing and more generally how many if not most of the “charities” established there are some form of self-serving scam.

        If you look at countries where the average salary is $100/month and then target the poor (say those earning $15-20 a month), offer them 2, 3, $400 for a child they can’t afford to raise or feed, they’ll take it. That’s trafficking, pure and simple.

        Putting that in context and in regards to the country that I currently live in. The average salary is about $100 / month. The law says that if you kill someone in an accident, the compensation due to that person’s family is 2k. So from a legal point of view, a human life is worth 2k. The average yearly salary is $1200. The status of women is pathetically low but these girls also have the expectation to “look after their families”. And the families don’t really care how they go about it, if your daughter is working as a prostitute it doesn’t matter so long as the money is coming in.

        The calculation is easily done. Baby =2k. 9 months minus 3 or 4 before you start showing so you can still work as a prostitute. Maybe longer if you can sell “pregnant=bareback”. And that’s how it becomes an industry. Not coincidentally, this particular country is an adoption “hotspot”.

  17. Marie says:

    How is it sleazy to give kids a better life?

  18. annie says:

    one mother fought for her daughter, the other mother made so many movies leaving the kids in the care of toms mother and sisters who were also scies.
    they didnt even turn up for their grandfathers funeral.
    nicole could have fought a bit more for those kids , she has enough money .. what did she get paid back then 10 mill a movie……..sorry but nicole could have done more

  19. Justwatingtime says:

    In defense of certain celebrities, one of Angelina Jolie’s kids was adopted from Ethiopia, as was one of mine. She picked an ethical agency and went through the same vetting process and wait time that the rest of us did, as confirmed by the agency when news reports stated ohherwuse.