It’s such an extraordinary story that we wouldn’t believe it if we saw it adapted on our screens. It was around 8 p.m. on August 28, 2000 when a New York subway train entered 14th Street station in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. On board, 34-year-old educator Danny Stewart is late for dinner at a restaurant with his companion, Peter Mercurio, 32, screenwriter and writer. He storms out of the train and rushes out of the station, but something catches his eye.
“I saw, on the floor, against the wall, what I thought was a doll,” he recalls. But he doesn’t linger and continues to climb the stairs to the exit. “I took one last look back, and that’s when I noticed the legs were moving.” He then goes down the stairs four to four and realizes that what he took for a doll is in fact … a real baby! “I have found a newborn!”, He shouts at the police. a little further. Then he calls Peter, who joins him as the police take the abandoned child to the hospital.
Three months after the rescue, the judge offered Danny to adopt the orphan
“What we both didn’t know at the time was that Danny hadn’t just saved an orphan, he had mostly just found our son,” says Peter. Three months after this rescue which made the headlines of all the newspapers in the city and obliged Danny to carry out numerous interviews, he is called in court to tell how he found the baby. After brief explanations, the judge asks him straight out … if he wishes to adopt the child! Taken aback, but not having forgotten the bright and sweet eyes of this baby, Danny accepts without thinking.
And this is how the couple, who had never thought of adoption, became parents of this little guy now named Kevin. For a year, the two men are the foster family of the toddler, receiving regular visits from social services before the final adoption. “Back then we often wondered what went through this judge’s mind. Did she know that Danny was an educator and that he would make a good father? Would she have accepted him to adopt Kevin if she had known? that he was homosexual and in a relationship? ”Peter reports.
Danny and Peter’s wedding has been celebrated by Kevin’s adoption judge!
Ten years later, when New York State made gay marriage legal, the two men unite before the law. At the request of their son, aware of the whole history of his adoption, they will ask the same judge to unite them. “Kevin was nervous. When he was younger, we told him the story that made us become a family, and we told him about that judge. But the fictional character was going to become a real person. would happen if she thought he hadn’t grown up in the best conditions? ”says Peter.
When asked why she had proposed adoption to Danny, the judge only replied “to have had a good feeling”. The rest of the meeting was done in the greatest simplicity. “She asked our son if she could take him in her arms, and asked him questions about school, his passions, his friends. She told him how happy she was to meet him,” says Peter who then married in righteous marriage with his companion.
“My son changed my view of the world, my outlook, all of my goals”
Today Kevin is 20 years old and is studying math and computer science at university. The little boy discovered in the metro station is now over six feet tall. “He’s respectful and kind, balanced, calm, and very funny!” Says Peter. “I can’t imagine my life without him anymore,” says Danny, now 55.
“With him, she became a lot richer and more fulfilled. He changed my worldview, my outlook, all of my goals. I didn’t know that this deep level of love existed in the world until my son come into my life. ” While waiting for this beautiful story to be released in theaters one day, Peter has made a children’s book, Our Subway Baby, released at the end of 2020.
Danny © INSTAGRAM PETEMERCURONYC