Find a free baby turtle by looking in ponds or near the edge of lakes for young turtles that live there. Alternatively, adopt a baby turtle from someone who raises them. Beware, it is illegal in the U.S. to sell small turtles or give them away with a purchase.
According to the Humane Society, all turtles carry salmonella bacteria, which is dangerous for humans and can be deadly for small children and the elderly. For this reason, they do not recommend keeping turtles as pets, even those obtained from a pet shop. It is this risk that led to the 1975 ban on selling turtles in the U.S.
There are some animal adoption facilities that adopt out turtles that cannot be released into the wild, and there are some individuals who may want to give away their pet turtles. Allpaws.com is a site that matches adoptive pets such as turtles, cats, dogs and other animals with loving new owners. Tortoise.com features information about caring for turtles, and it offers a link to a list of places that offer turtles for adoption.
Baby turtles may be adorable, but they carry health risks to humans and require specialized care. Turtles can live for decades, so unless you are prepared to offer the time and care they need, you may want to consider a different pet or enjoy visiting the turtles at the local zoo.