Police in Nigeria raided a home where they discovered a “baby factory” with 8 pregnant women selling babies for around $2000 each.
According to the UK Independent, police in Akute district of Ogun state raided a three-bedroom cottage where they suspected the women of hiding. However, they found nothing. Realizing they needed to have another look, they returned with a second team and found the women hiding in a wardrobe.
Nigeria has been a hotbed of such activity in the past few years. Since 2011, over 100 women have been arrested in such raids. How they come to be in such a position has more to do with the morals and mores of Nigeria than with some seedy underbelly of human trafficking, although that does seem to play a part in the whole scheme.
Many times, these women are staying in these “black market maternity homes” because they are pregnant out of wedlock and do not want to be seen and ostracized in public. They stay in the home until they deliver the baby, with the understanding that it will be sold and they will receive only part of the money, with the rest going to the person coordinating the “maternity home.”
Some of the eight women discovered in this particular raid were teenagers. Another raid in December netted 19 pregnant women between the ages of 15 and 23.
When the babies are born and sold, male babies bring more money than females. Some report that they are commonly bought by couples who are having trouble conceiving children. But this is an operation that falls far outside the usual legitimate adoption processes. That innocent-sounding eventuality could well be what mothers are told so they see the deal through to the end sale. Proprietors of these places commonly do not cooperate with police in determining where the babies ended up, which is not a promising indicator of a happy ending.
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