Storkapalooza: Lawn-based Stork-enabled Baby Announcement Roundup

No one told me when Little Miss was born that the proper way to celebrate was with lawn ornaments. Not just any lawn ornaments, either. Eight-foot-tall painted wooden storks…. delivered to your door and rented for upwards of $60 to $90 a week. Vital statistics are painted on a wooden sack the stork carries, eventually becoming a keepsake.

Marketing photo from StorkNews.com showing a mom, dad and baby standing in front of an eight-foot-tall wooden painted stork
I visited about 30 stork rental web sites and noticed they had similar signs. It seems franchises are built around the lawn sign idea. Stork signs are turnkey businesses. Just buy the signs and then rent them out. Near as I can figure, three stork franchisers rule America’s lawns.

Stork News of America — Home of the 8 foot stork (seen in photo above).

The Stork Lady — Offering patriotic storks, baby carriages, moons, and sail boats, too.

StorkDelivery.com — They have the snazziest looking stork, plus big-headed babies.

Each of the above franchisers has a directory for finding a local stork renter. I was surprised to find a renter in my hometown, even though I’ve never seen a local stork planted.

Don’t miss the Flamingoed Lawn Greetings Directory, a nonpartisan guide to lawn decoration renters.

Two words of caution…

First, when your sign gets vandalized or stolen, some vendors don’t hold you financially responsible, while others do. Most stork web sites I visited did not disclose their liability policy.

Second, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has this warning for new parents:

“The use of outdoor announcements such as signs, balloons, large floral wreaths, and other lawn ornaments are not recommended to announce a birth because they call attention to the presence of a new infant in the home.”

And on that note, birth announcements in a newspaper also require precautions. We simply asked our hospital not to release our information.

Comments

8 Responses to “Storkapalooza: Lawn-based Stork-enabled Baby Announcement Roundup”

  1. Brian says:

    Would’ve been cooler if they used the drunk stork from the old WB cartroons.

    April 7th, 2006 at 9:52 am

  2. amy says:

    A lady down the street from us rents those things. They are creepy looking if you ask me.

    April 10th, 2006 at 8:03 am

  3. Mariann says:

    Those warnings are crazy… who steals a baby from a house crawling with relatives who’ve come to see the new baby or help out? Babies are RARELY kidnapped, and the ones who have been have been taken either from hospitals in a planned grab or spontaneously grabbed while out. Find ONE instance of a babynapper looking for stork signs and THEN deciding to grab that baby… it’s too impractical.

    April 15th, 2006 at 8:21 am

  4. AJ says:

    I have removed several derogatory posts about one of the above mentioned companies, with at least one person posting under varying names. If you can point me to an article from a reputable news organization to back up your claims, send me an e-mail. If not, please do not use this blog for petty bickering. Thank you.

    July 16th, 2006 at 2:16 pm

  5. Emily says:

    To all those who dont believe it can happen; I live in a small town in Missouri, and a few months ago, a baby was stolen from a home and the mother’s throat was slit, all by some crazy lady who wanted a baby and seen “Baby Arrival Signs” on the front lawn of the home. Maybe some of you remember seeing it on the news: Baby Abby . She was stolen during the day, from the home and was missing for a couple of weeks, before THANKFULLY being found alive and well and in the care of the “crazy lady”. It does happen!

    January 27th, 2007 at 8:18 pm

  6. Emily says:

    About the above comment: Baby Abby was stolen from her home in Lonedell, MO. Do some research and check it out if you dont believe this can happen! She was all over the news for 2 weeks!

    January 27th, 2007 at 8:21 pm

  7. Ashley says:

    Actually i think that the warnings are very practical, it DOES in fact happen. Just because you dont hear about all the time, or it doesn’t happen as much as the other circustances, it is reality!….and to say that it not practical, is just nonsense…..

    July 11th, 2008 at 12:38 pm

  8. Karin says:

    Hello – I am a member of the Lawn Greetings Association and own a stork rental business in California. I saw your blog and wanted to post a comment to hopefully educate and ease the concerns of new parents.

    The Lawn Greetings Association realizes that everyone has a responsibility to keep infants and children safe from abductions and predators; however we must use good judgment in the information dispensed to expectant parents, as not to frighten them with unsubstantiated facts.

    It is true that the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children does briefly warn parents of about the use of outdoor announcements. They also spend a lot of time warning parents about the possibility of a baby abduction occurring within the hospital.

    According to The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children there have been 250 reported cases of non-family infant abductions between the years 1983 to 2007. These figures from the N.C.M.E.C. are based on a 24 year period, with over 100 million births! In the US in 2007 there were 2 infant abductions that occurred in a hospital and only one that occurred from the home. Statiscally an infant abduction is twice as likely to occur in the hospital than in your own home.

    After extensive research, our association has yet to find any factual statistics which proves that an infant abduction was a direct result of having a lawn sign, stork announcement, or other birth announcement in the yard. Not even baby Abby was a direct result because of a lawn announcement. The abductor in this case had been watching the mom to be for several weeks.

    Unfortunately, there are dangerous people lurking within society and if they’re bound and determined to steal a child, they’ll do so whether or not there is an announcement in the newspaper, a photo gallery on the parents’ or the hospital’s web site, a baby registry a the local baby store, a sign in the yard, a car seat in the car, a stroller on the porch, or any children toys in the yard. Are we to become so frightened women hide their pregnancy, avoid obstetricians offices, not register at retail stores for baby gifts or even buy clothing at a maternity store?

    Our businesses are based on celebrating a person’s special time in their life by fun and joyful means in an otherwise sullen society. It is an honor to be a small part of these wonderful and miraculous events, a stork lawn sign in the yard is a great way to welcome mom and baby home, and to share the news with neighbors and friends.

    Lawn greetings can, in fact, alert the neighbors to be more aware, much like Neighborhood Watch signs or Baby on Board emblems on vehicles. Neighbors often know when a family is expecting a child; a birth announcement in their yard alerts the neighbors when the child arrives so those neighbors can keep an extra eye out for the family. The chance of an abduction being caused by a sign in the yard is so insignificant that pointing a finger at our trade would be unjustified and could unnecessarily damage the lawn greetings industry.

    The Lawn Greetings Association can only urge the new parents to consider the facts and carefully decide whether to share their pride of becoming a parent. No matter what decision they may make regarding a baby announcement sign we urge them to make every effort to show their children that the world is filled with love, beauty and goodness.

    Thank you for letting the Lawn Greetings Association state our voice in this matter.

    Best wishes to all!

    Karin

    July 17th, 2008 at 9:03 am