Baby borrowers
06/17/2008 at 09:35 AM

I know, I said I wouldn't be back, and I'm not, but I wanted to reach everybody I could about this issue.  I sent this e-mail to everybody on my address list, and then I thought of all of you.


 I read yesterday in the paper about a TV show that is going to begin airing on June 25 on NBC.  I was really upset about the show and I wanted to invite you to join me if you happen to agree with me. 


I'm sending this to everyone on my address list, so if you don't remember who I am, Sorry!


   Just wanted you to know, as quickly as possible, that I will regretfully end my 45 year long relationship with what has been a fine network if you air a single episode of baby borrowers.  That you have condoned removing children for 72 hours from their primary caregivers is abominable.  Your purported admirable motive blinded you to participating in human slavery and abuse. 
   It is no longer hard for me to believe that no one in your programming department had the wits to consider the effect on these children as a counterbalance to cheap programming. 
   You need to foot the bill for parenting classes for those who rented out their children.  That the adults knew the children were safe is interesting, but the children could not have known that they were themselves safe. 
   How could you do such a thing?

I forgot to mention that I also sent the e-mail to NBC.


This must be the American version of the show. It has already been screened in Britain. It caused a lot of controversy here as well. That did not stop the BBC from showing it. Good luck anyway Gail. Nice to hear from you again, however short.



I am completely offended that you actually referred to the parents loaning their babies as Human Slavery and abuse.

I was one of those parents. And I don't need a parenting class, thank you. If you took time to watch the show and learn more about the precautions that were put into place, you would know every parent of each infant was on the set watching via camera 24/7 and that many people including producers, nannies and medical personnel were stationed on the set as well. Our babies were NOT abused, nor would any of us parents EVER have handed over our children to a situation we didn't trust. We knew this experiment would be stressful, but we were there to step in at any time. Our babies were well cared for and no matter what, our children helped contribute to changing these teens lives and maybe many others across the country.

And NO ONE was paid to do this show, so how you can corelate slavery as an example is beyond me. I find that statement very ignorant.


NBC is being paid by advertisers to air this show. So, you allowed your children to be exploited so someone you don't even know could get money. (was it a free vacation? or did you pay your own room and board while you went without pay for that time so you could watch your kids on TV?) I don't care that you didn't get any money. In the absence of real need, little children should not be separated from their parents. That was the abuse that DID TAKE PLACE, The fact that you don't think their distress is important proves to me that you do need some kind of intervention. If the information that is being shared is that valuable, apparently little British children had already been exploited, they could have aired the BBC program.

I am astounded that so many people think that the distress of the children is not important, as long as the grown-ups are getting what they want/need. YOU knew they were safe. If your child was an infant or a toddler, you can't tell me the child understood that they would ever see you again. If they are used to separation, already have had their attachment to you strained by frequent extended absences, then shame on you for that, too.

Go ahead and respond. Justify that it's OK. You will just confirm out of your own mouth again that how you, the parent, feel is all that really matters.

And I am a homo sapiens, a primate who passes judgment. AS are you, it is just that your judgment causes your child to be in situations where your child is compromised.
Been there, done that, learned the lesson.


Go Gail.
Kantoka, perhaps you should read up on John Bowlby's theory of attachment. How old was your child when you 'lent' him/her. You have broken your bond, and it doesn't matter what experts were there, because what your child needed was you. I hope you do not regret it in years to come.


What would you say to a mother who had to leave her baby with a sitter by necessity or travel for three days on business? Does leaving your baby with a sitter for 9 - 10 hours a day have the same effect as leaving him /her for three days? Don't get me wrong, I would NEVER allow my baby to be exploited for fun or profit; I just wonder if we should judge a working mother as harshly as we are judging these parents.


I have not seen this show so cannot comment on the show in particular. I just want to point out that there are many reasons one would need to leave their child for more than 72 hours, such as when my son was burned and had to go to a distant hospital, I had to leave my daughter for 17 days. She was upset but adjusted and seemed to be fine. Then at around 6, she became even more clingy, then moody and developed many disorders as she got older, IBS, nausea, headaches, then as a preteen, TMJ, migraines and anorexia. After years of going to doctors she was diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder also. I have often wondered how much of my daughters issues had to do with that early separation.


The difference is the necessity. Arrange video conferences for work if you can, or get other work. Those people don't need to hear YOUR heart beat.

pulling an adult tooth that is decayed is necessity. pulling a tooth that is healthy is abuse. Same action. possibly traumitizing. One is abuse, the other is necessity.


I agree. There is a lot of difference between necessity if you have to be away from your child due to illness, work etc. We are talking about deliberately abandoning your child to the care of strangers for some experiment. Not the same thing at all. Why take chances you don't have to with your precious baby.


OCD moment "traumatizing" sp.


The children are perfectly safe, the parents are next door watching with cameras and can intervene at any time, and there are paramedics and nannies also on standby. Do your research before you bash the show.


Are you serious? This show is more safe than taking a child to any daycare across the country. The parents were right there the entire time watching everything and could intervene at any time. Aside from the teens that were with the children (2 teens per child) there was also a fulltime nanny there, and the crew. At what point is this detrimental to the child? There's no separation anxiety if the parents are THERE. There's no "slavery and abuse" as you put it. Are you out of your mind? Someone is wound too tightly.


Well, giving your kid to some clueless spoiled teenagers is a bit different than daycare, but characterizing it as slavery and abuse is pretty freaking extreme. Personally, I would never put my kid on a show like that, and to find out that they actually DIDN'T GET PAID!! Wow, people will do anything to get on tv I guess.

Hopefully, in the long run, it will help some teens realize to think before they act.


The children did not see the parents. It is true that the parents are not anxious. I don't care too much about if the parents are anxious, they are parents, they can know that they will have their children back any time they want.

The babies did NOT know where the parents were. The toddlers did NOT know where the parents were. The babies were not familiar with the teenagers who were caring for them. The toddlers were not familiar with the teenagers who were caring for them. Healthy infants with an appropriate attachment to their mothers get anxious when they are left with ANYONE else. The anxiety manifests itself as soon as the child notices that the mother is not in the room.
I'm not arguing about whether the children were safe. I'm arguing that unnecessary separation is ABUSIVE. Was this separation necessary?
Slavery--did it occur before there was money? You bet. Exploiting human beings for personal gain whether it be monetary or not is SLAVERY.
Do YOUR research. Somebody is way too casual.


I'd like to offer a little different perspective. That of a child who went through something similar. When I was 5 my sister had to go to a hospital out of town for an extended period. My mom went and stayed with her, and I stayed with neighbors who knew my parents well. I was in a safe environment and my dad came home every night so we could sleep in our own beds. But I needed my mommy. I developed a very close relationship with one of the ladies who cared for me and her husband. All through elementary school I went and visited them and talked to them about things. They were wonderful nurturing people, but I needed my mommy. My mommy came home and was with me through all those years. She did nice things for me and told me she loved me, but I blew it off. I thought she didn't mean it. I had learned in that short period of time that she was in the hospital with my sister that I was not the center of her universe, and it shattered my world. It really doesn't take long for a 5 year old brain to break that attachment. But it takes years and years (and counseling,) to change it back. In this case there really wasn't a practical alternative. But if there is any way to avoid this sort of thing, I can tell you it's worth any inconvenience.


Wow, some serious debate on this show. The sad thing is, the more we talk about it and create controversy, the more people will watch. I actually think that it is fantastic that we are having this discussion. I wish more entertainment would spark this type of debate.

Most of us tend to agree that we wouldn't put our kids on that show, and the parents who did have their reasons... good or bad, and they have to deal with that choice. I'm very torn on this, but I have to say that it breaks my heart a bit to see the kids screaming on the promos, not knowing where their parents are.


google baby borrowers, somebody has a list of sponsors.

Viewer protest kept the OJ Simpson show off the air. That was very cool.

Anybody can e-mail or call the sponsors.

Point your friends to this message board, or to the other sites that address this controversy.

Even if we don't stop the show from airing, we can try to prevent a second season of five infants, five toddlers; needlessly, heedlessly separated from their mommies.
You can also e-mail NBC, don't let them suck you into being a consultant or whatever, it just wastes your time with a survey, click on the other button. Also, contact your local NBC affiliate. They are a lot easier to contact


It does not matter in the least that these children had their parents next door and professional childcare supporting them. They did not have their Mummies. What does NEXT DOOR mean to a baby or toddler. Try explaining that to them.
Do you really think that all a wee child needs is someone to fill one end and empty the other?
They need consistency of care and bonding with their main care givers. This show breaks that.


What NBC's "documentary" documents is a new version of the Milgram experiment. Except that instead of two strangers, you have parents and babies, and instead of a person in a lab coat, you have somebody who offers you a week in a luxury condo in Idaho. And instead of an adult acting like he or she is distressed . . . You have real distress.
And if you watch it, it's a different kind of pornography, where there is no pleasure of any kind involved. Just real people, tiny ones, in real pain.
google Milgram. Remember your psychology class. I couldn't find a site that I could get the video on, so go to your local college psyche department and negotiate with them to show it to you and a bunch of your neighbors.

We've somehow done time and space travel, and we are in Germany in the 1930's and it's not a bunch of mental defectives and homosexuals and Jews, it's babies. Click your heels and lift your arm and utter "Hiel NBC!" if you don't tell some friends, and contact some sponsors.


Wow, Gail, that's some pretty strong imagery. I don't think the people involved are evil, just ignorant of what this really can do to children. I do agree that it should stop, but attacks like this go a bit too far.


You are actually making me really interested in watching! Thanks!


I tried to figure out a way that NBC was not like Hitler. It is entirely possible that their program developers were ignorant of child development. But Junie G said there was controversy in Britain so that is hard for me to believe.

Research the Milgram experiment. I can't get a site that just shows the video. so google it.

that's M i l g r a m.

I'm misquoting, but the only thing necessary for evil to continue is for good men to do nothing.

I just googled that, it's
Some say that English philosopher Edmund Burke said, ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

Auschwitz, Abu Ghraib, Boise. I know my rhetoric is inflamed. Like I've said before, it's like watching people park the car with the children inside on the railroad track. I look like a crazy woman? I don't care! We've got 4 days, Only 2 of them are business days, And then somebody will start making money off of this. And if they make enough, they'll do it again. If you watch the show after you research this that is, of course your choice. Informed choice, not ignorance.
And Jothegrill, there is no fanatic as passionate as the reformed sinner. I said, been there, done that. I cannot be less passionate than I am. Your compassion is as much a result of your experience as my passion is of my experience
I wish that your mother had had someone to validate her gut feeling that she should find a way to take the whole family with her when she left you behind. Nowadays, they have Ronald MacDonald houses, and they have room for whole families. I bet she had that gut feeling, I did when I made a similar decision to send my five year old to her Grandparents for an extended visit.


I think we a forgetting how much babies learn in a short period of time. A show like baby borrowers may seem unfair, but it teaches those kids to adapt and improve. for all they know they could be on the street in a couple years..


Gail....get a life and educate yourself about child development. Go Baby Borrowers. Can't wait until June 25! Way to go NBC!


I don't know anything about this show, Baby Borrowers, except what I've read in these posts. I think, despite many people's stance on this issue, "the show must go on" (in NBC's eyes, anyway). This is all about $$$, entertainment, and ratings. You can object all you want, but honestly, I don't think it'll make a difference. There are too many people out there that find this kind of programing entertaining, and regardless of it's content or message, they will still watch it. It's unfortunate that that's what society has amounted to today, but this is what it is. My only suggestion is for you to live your life the way you see fit, and stick to what you believe in. Don't waste your time on frivolous programing such as this. Let others live their lives the way they want to. That's their business. If there are repercussions due to these people's actions, they have to face them. It's sad that it comes to that, but the reality is that it does. You can't fix every situation, and it wld be very difficult to change people's thinking. We are only a small make-up of the population, and there are many people that disagree w/ you or just don't care. This is a far bigger hurdle to get over, especially in the short time we have before the show airs. Your intention is a good one, but unfortunately, I think it's a hopeless effort. I don't mean to discourage you, and by all means continue w/ your efforts. However, realistically speaking, I don't think you can stop this show from airing. Sorry, that's just my opinion.


I just had another great idea!!! If you "loaned" your children to NBC, and they do have long-term emotional damage, you can SUE NBC. Even if you signed some kind of waiver, you can't waive your child's right to sue. And I agree, it is all about money, but somebody managed to stop the broadcast of OJ's special. And that cost more for those guys to film than baby borrowers, I bet.
NBC has either shut down some of their message boards, or they have specifically blocked my access. Either way, they are taking notice. Please guys, do me a favor. If you are wise enough to know that you wouldn't let your kids be part of this, please protect the children of other families, who may suffer because their parents aren't as wise as you. What this season's parents did was legal, and should remain legal, but it wasn't good for their children. NBC exploited helpless people. I really hope they don't make money off of it.
The more people who raise their voice (sorry for the Holocaust reference, Jothegrill) the sooner the camps will be closed.

On a selfish note, if we can prevent the broadcast of the first episode I get to watch the OLYMPICS!!!!


From a news report of a preview "party" in Denver, I learned that when a child woke up in a house with no teenagers, the children were comforted by a nanny. Another stranger. Don't know if this was a nap or the middle of the night. This was cited as if it made the distress OK. The adults, once again, knew the child was safe.

So, my kid wakes up in a strange house where he's been with strangers and yet another stranger shows up. I can't even comment on that, cause I try not to use those words. And I can't "share" my reaction with NBC, cause they've blocked my address (which is their right). Could some of you share your reaction with NBC?

Are there any of you who know a nurse who works on a pediatric ward? It would be interesting to hear that perspective. And they talk alot about thetr being nannies on the set, but they haven't mentioned a child psychologist or child psychiatrist. Hmmmm.


Sballvr why don't you tell us all about your vast knowledge of child development. I am sure we are all enthralled and can't wait.


I agree that they should not take these kids from there parents but I also think it is a good learning experiance for these newbes.


So, you are so worked up about this show and compare NBC to Hitler, but you're going to watch the Olympics... which is on NBC?

That is fantastic.


Sorry but did I miss a post. I can't remember Gail saying anything about watching the Olympics?


All the controversy is making me want to check this show out even more. I'm sure I am not alone. Airs on the 25th!


Yeah, way too long ago, in the heading of this board,I vowed to never watch NBC again, and they are the Olympic network, so I'm not going to watch the Olympics. Unless NBC's execs decide that the people who don't want baby borrowers are a more lucrative mine than people who do want it. They also have a show coming this fall that I am interested in, "Crusoe." Oh well, I suppose I could read Defoe's book. Again. Or watch the Dick Van Dyke movie.

That comparison to Hitler -- my emotions get me into trouble, but Hitler was going to improve the world, as I recall. He just had everybody's best interest at heart. And he had a PR machine that was really effective. And a lot of people who didn't really agree with him just stood back and let it happen. Nobody is getting gassed here. Nobody's possessions and homes and businesses are getting stolen and ruined. Nobody's hides are being made into soap and lampshades. Nobody is starving. Not just like Hitler. Enough like Hitler.

Anybody who is boycotting the Olympics because of Chinese human rights issues, more power to you, but it isn't my passion. I think that issue is also important, so I leave it to those who are articulate and well versed in that field.



In response to your post about suing NBC if there's long-term damage to a child: I suppose this is an option, but how wld you prove that it was the show that caused the damage? Don't you think that wld be almost impossible to prove, especially yrs down the road? Just wondering what your thoughts (or anyone else's thoughts) are on this.


In my personal experience that I shared earlier I can remember when the attachment was broken between my mother and I. It was after I went back to the neighbor's house on the second day of her absence. It became normal. I seemed fine. I played with the toys and did normal 5 year old things. Nobody really knew I was broken for years... not until I attempted suicide at the age of 10. These babies won't remember not caring if their mothers call or not. So it may be hard to prove, but if they want to call me as a witness, I'd be happy to oblige. The person who told Gail to do her research. I have a degree in child development and attachment studies involving strangers have been done in less time than this. Do your own research.


2xstepmom and Jothegrill have both done a better job of articulating the problem with the show than I have, from their own experience. Please, if you are reading this on or before June 25, 2008 call your local NBC affiliate. Ask them to air something in that time-slot about the Milgram experiment, or about attachment for babies and toddlers.

They could capitalize on the publicity about baby borrowers, truly educate the public, and maybe sell even more advertising.

I will be away from technology tomorrow (no, it is not a 24 hr. psyche evaluation, I have to go hang out with the cub scouts).

And I AM really going to stop calling people (even corporate ones) nasty names. It just cheapens the debate, and I should know better.


For those who are comparing this to daycare, saying it's better/safer. Perhaps it is physically safer than many daycares, the difference concerning attachment is that the parent comes and takes their child home every single day. It is consistent. Also there is no one at the daycare pretending to be "mommy" or "daddy". I remember my husband's brother teasing my daughter when she was a toddler and telling her that he was her daddy. She screamed and cried. Those roles and names are a serious thing.


I googled baby borrowers forums last night and was shocked that of the top 6 on the list none of them mentioned concern for the attachment of the children, even though the original post asked what people thought were the negatives and positives of the show. There were a few who said they wouldn't do that to their own child, but that they wanted to see what happens. I have yet to see a child development specialist who currently works in the field post their professional opinion about this show. I would love to see it. Any takers?


I don't know what you would consider as a child development specialist, but I have a degree in and work in Early childhood education and childcare. Child development, sociology and psychology play a major part in this qualification. I am totally against this 'experiment'



Yes, Gail said that she hopes they don't air Baby Borrowers on Wednesday so that she can watch the Olympics instead.


Did you know you have a clone on the NBC message boards, a psychologist who has inside knowledge about what actually went on on the baby borrowers set? How shocking that NBC would appropriate your name! If you have contact, or a telepathic connection with the clone, could you ask for help in responding to this discussion?

Your clone said that more would have to happen to these children than the attachment disruption that occurred during the filming. So, how much waking time per day did the children spend with their own parents?

And the "more" that would have to happen. What if an infant or toddler was videotaped in extreme, prolonged distress, and the parents were aware of, but unresponsive to the distress. By unresponsive, I mean that surrogates were sent to deal with the distress when the parents were aware, and this was also videoed. What if that videotape was available to that child's peers, community, extended family, and that child as the child grew up.

What if the original trauma were compounded by being revisited from time to time in such a form, with relatives and strangers aware?

I know. Up til now, that experiment has not been done. Any answer would be speculation. MaryKate and Ashley Olsen would be the closest approximation so far, and no unresponsive behavior was documented in the video we saw of them, and anytime we did see the parents, the parents were being responsive.

I can only imagine, but I think some serious discussion should take place before the infant episode and the toddler episode are aired. These kids will have some documented justification for shouting at their parents, "You care about other people more than you care about me, so why should I care about me!?!"

In your clone's professional opinion, do I have reason to be concerned? Oh, and it will probably be real boring for you to watch the broadcast, as your clone has probably seen enough footage for both of you.


Everybody but sballvr. It seems that NBC is watching us! Please, step this up a notch or two. call your local NBC affiliate. Ask your friends to read this board so they can decide if they will call your local affiliate. Find out if there is a larger corp. that owns your local affiliate, and call them. Do a search for NBC advertisers, and call them. Intel is one, so is Nissan, I forget the rest and you can find out. This is America, where money does talk, especially when it is walking out the door.


Then do you have time to give us a brief summary of the Milgram experiment, for those who don't care to do the research? And what is your understanding of attachment, and just how much distress it takes to disrupt that bond? You did state on the NBC board that you are a psychologist, so you are much more well-versed on both those subjects than I am. You could probably do that in 5 min.

And I have NOTHING more important to do, because there are few things more important than the relationship between a child and the child's parents, right?


Don't let your response to the other baby borrowers board be your only response. Call your local NBC affiliate. Call the parent company of your local NBC affiliate. Call NBC advertisers. Mr. Murdoch decided not to show the OJ special. Maybe Mr. Silverman can make a smart business decision based on real data, too. I don't know if it would be too much for him to make an ethical business decision. Real harm balanced against the possibility of benefit and profit$.

Does NBC own USA Network? apparently there is some coverage of the Olympics on USA Network. I might be able to keep my word and enjoy the Olympics, too.
Goodnight, all.


Another OCD moment. RATS! I searched it. NBC does own USA Network. I'm going to try and get some sleep. RATS RATS RATS!


Nice research work Gail. I see sballvr is not around to repudiate any of your comments. How could a professional support this. It beggars belief.


Any other lonely human beings out their with nothing better to do, I'm watching a lot of NBC today. I'm going to call the advertisers after every commercial break. If you, in your loneliness, could spend an hour or two with me, that would be terrific! I've got other commitments tomorrow, but that would also be useful. And if somebody could set up a site for their own friends to address their market, that would be great. And for concerned, I know you think this is a waste of time. I acknowledge I may not be successful, but success and failure are often not related to the value of effort. And two people who posted here have contacts to the show. Those people have been affected. They are not as comfortable with the situation as they were before. That is already success.


Never thought I'd say this. We have had our conflicts before on here but I'd like to say GO GAIL. Wish something like this had been done when it was shown over here in Britain. BBC television is a big corporation just like NBC.


Just noticed in the margin which gives new and popular discussions that 'baby borrowers' isn't mentioned although it has generated a lot of discussion and opinions. Wonder why that is? It does talk about curfews and we haven't discussed that in ages. Am I being too suspicious.


Yes, you are being too suspicious, that list is determined by total number of responses, and I have about 40 to go before this discussion has more responses than curfews. So, If you really don't want to see this board hit that list, post on curfews. Got to go downtown and help my brother. Bye