Dana Delany and Hart Bochner in Baby for Sale (2004)

Baby Bids

Having always been unable to conceive either naturally or medically Nathalie (Dana Delany - A Time to Remember) and Steve Johnson (Hart Bochner - Complex of Fear) have already adopted one child and now want to expand their family and adopt a baby again. With things not going well using their lawyer Nathalie out of desperation puts their details on an internet site for adopting children. It is how they ended up contacted by New York lawyer Gabor Szabo (Bruce Ramsay) who has a baby which needs adopting from a penniless mother. But to their shock they discover that Szabo is auctioning the child off to the highest bidder, something which is technically not illegal.

The most interesting thing about "Baby for Sale" is that the same year that this Lifetime movie based on a true story premiered Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton introduced legislation to make baby brokering a federal crime. Now that isn't me being disrespectful about the true story which this is based upon but basically saying that "Baby for Sale" is highly typical of a Lifetime movie as it aims to be entertaining and informative rather than gritty and realistic.

Bruce Ramsay in Baby for Sale (2004)

Having said that there is still something shocking about the subject matter and the scene where we watch Gabor Szabo tell Nathalie and Steve he is doing nothing illegal by offering the baby to the highest bidder is gob smacking to think there was a time when it was legal. And whilst "Baby for Sale" lacks subtlety there are some interesting developments which keep you entertained although some of them will also make you laugh due to the terrible lack of subtlety such as a terrible police sting scene.

But as is the case of many of these Lifetime movies it is the casting which keeps you watching and whilst Dana Delany is saddled with not the most sympathetic of characters her innate likeability allows us to warm to her despite her character's neediness. At the same time Bruce Ramsay brings out some sinister as the greedy New York lawyer Gabor Szabo.

What this all boils down to is that "Baby for Sale" typically has an interesting true story but just as typically for a Lifetime movie comes up short on realism and subtlety making it very much a movie for a certain type of audience who don't require gritty realism to be entertained.