LAKEWOOD, N.J. (RNS) It’s cheaper than a Super Bowl ad, and may have more impact: A New Jersey family is selling the right to name their baby.
The post on the Central Jersey Craigslist, which appeared Jan. 23, said a Jewish family had just given birth to their ninth daughter, and they were taking bids on the new name, starting at $20,000.
“This is an excellent opportunity for someone who did not have children, or someone looking to honor a relative, or even to honor someone who was killed in the Holocaust,” read the ad, which has since been removed for violating the site’s terms of service.
Though no personal details are given in the ad, the man who posted it reached out to Jewish news service JTA.org to verify that it was a real offer. He identified himself as a schoolteacher in Lakewood, and sent the site a picture of a hospital band dated Jan. 22, 2014, according to the report.
The family is asking for a Jewish name and a secular name to put on the birth certificate, the ad said. They are hoping for something biblical, and will not accept wacky names — for instance, the man said, they will not name the girl “Box.”
The girl’s father said they used family names for their eight daughters, but are now out of namesake relatives and saw the opportunity to make some money to help support their growing family (they also have one boy).
The winning bidder will be invited to the girl’s bat mitzvah, graduation, wedding and other major life ceremonies,
“Whoever would do this, we would consider them like family,” the father told JTA.
The family said they received four bids before the ad was removed, but since it was taken down there is no longer a public contact email for the unidentified father.
YS END WRIGHT-PIERSANTI
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