(WTLV)-- Some have allegedly used them to trick husbands and boyfriends. Many people think they are a cultural low. First Coast Investigates an explosion of items on the market to help women fake pregnancies.
The ads are straightforward. One on Craigslist from Ocala, Florida, says "I'm pregnant and willing to sell you my pee or positive pregnancy test." For just $10 it could be yours.
Another Craigslist posts says, "I am currently pregnant and am willing to sell the positive pregnancy test to any women in need of it...no questions asked!!!!"
"They could be pulling a prank on their boyfriend, scaring them to see his reaction...blackmail, extort money from boyfriends, past boyfriends. Hey, I'm pregnant. Here's the proof," said Mark Melvin when First Coast News told him about the posts.
According to a pregnant woman who doesn't want to be identified there's a market for them.
"Due to complications of pregnancy I'm unable to work so I'm selling these to pay bills" her listing says.
We responded to the post on Craigslist, drove to Orlando and met the woman we'll call "Sarah" outside of a gas station. We gave her the unopened pregnancy tests we brought with us. She took them into the bathroom and walked out a short time later.
In exchange for $25 she gave us two positive pregnancy tests.
The disclaimer on her post says the tests are for prank purposes only and not for anyone under 18. She declined to talk on camera but agreed to a phone interview.
"Obviously even if it is a prank is to make them think they are pregnant, that's the purpose of the prank, but there's no way that it would go further hopefully if their significant other was intelligent enough they would go to the doctor's office with them," explained Sarah.
But you don't need a pregnant woman to get your hands on a positive pregnancy test.
A listings on eBay has a video demonstrating how the bogus tests work.
"This is plain tap water. Any liquid will trigger this test to come up positive"
The fine print says, "These tests could potentially cause emotional stress or negative consequence if used irresponsibly. You, the purchaser acknowledge and warrant that you are 100% responsible for any adverse reaction or damages incurred by inappropriate use."
So are they illegal?
"It's my understanding it's legal to sell them but the people who are buying them are buying them for deceptive purposes," said adoption attorney Michael Shorstein.
He explained when it crosses the line.
"It comes in when the person who has bought it and knows they are not pregnant goes to use it to procure funds. That is deception. It's illegal. "
In Florida an adoption deception law passed just last year makes it a felony to procure living expenses of more than $300 .
"In Florida there is money from the government, Choose Life Funds for example and they can go to agencies and all they have to say is, I'm pregnant will you help me and these agencies will give the money away because it's not their money, it's the state's money and it's allocated to them just for that purpose."
Shorstein says the sale of these controversial items has become prolific and directly impacts how he and many in the adoption arena now do business.
"We are petrified because of all of this material is out there. When a mother comes to us now, we will no longer accept medical records or any other information directly from her. We will now send a release directly to the doctor or lab so we get it from them. We don't trust anything we get from an individual," Shorstein said.
It's not just parents trying to adopt who could be impacted.
Shorstein says the fake items could be used to pressure a boyfriend into marriage, get money from family or friends, and more.
"It can affect people in a number of ways. One financially. Number two, emotionally because people who buy it can also go to their employer for example if they know their job is in jeopardy. If someone came to me as an employer and said I'm pregnant well all of a sudden a job that was insecure becomes secure."
With the click of a mouse you can order fake bellies to make it look like you are pregnant, even fake DNA tests, prescription bottles and authentic looking ultrasounds that can be customized with your doctor's name and your personal information.
"What's your word of warning for people think about buying this and using it for deceptive purposes?"
"Don't. It's illegal it's a crime and you can go to jail," warned Shorstein.
First for you, Shorstein says a victim could ultimately go after the person who sold the questionable pregnancy tests or fake documents.
His advice is don't sell them and don't buy them, and if someone claims to be pregnant and you have doubts he says get an independent pregnancy test which is very inexpensive and could save you a lot of heartache and money.
First Coast News
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