New York man illegally 'sold' as baby in the 1940s sues city for birth certificate
Published March 01, 2013
| New York Post
He just wants to prove he was born — before he dies.
A Bronx native is suing the city to force it to confirm what his mother told him as she was dying — that he had been “sold” to her as a baby by neighbors.
“I was a black-market baby,” said Albert Higgins, 67, a married father of five who filed the unusual suit against the Health Department in Manhattan Supreme Court this week.
“There was no adoption. There was money exchanged, and I was just handed over.”
Higgins, now living in upstate Sullivan County, wants city and federal authorities to recognize him as “Garry Swingle,” the name he says he was given by his birth parents and for which a birth certificate exists, then issue him a birth certificate as Albert J. Higgins, the name he has known his entire life.
The suit is the latest move in Higgins’ three-year fight to prove his origin.
It began when his application to renew his commercial driver’s license was rejected because he could not provide a birth certificate.
There is no certificate for an Albert J. Higgins born to a Morris Heights couple in 1945, despite his being baptized, voting and paying taxes under that name, given to him by his “parents.”