Babies for Sale

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Think adoption is a non-profit service for children?   Think again.  If it was so charitable, it would be provided as a public service with no money changing hands.

Instead, adoption is a multi-billion-dollar industry.  Each transaction, each time money is given to an agency in exchange for an infant, a profit has been made, a human being has been bought.  And, usually by people who would recoil at the concept of human trafficking.  But if you can dress it up in euphemisms of “adoption services” and “adoption situations,” you can get away with treating babies as commodities.

Here are examples of price-lists for babies.   These are screen-captures of actual pages from business websites.  I am leaving out the business names to avoid legal hassles.  But just google “adoption situations” to find these and many more.

(Click on graphic to see full-sized image.)


And, gee, this one below even offers a great discount for African American babies — only $17,000!  These prices are not based on the needs of children — they are based on market demand.


And the mother gets a kick-back as well, under the euphemism  “living expenses” (although I would also classify “medical expenses” under this heading).

Want to compare how much profit is being made by these businesses? It cost me all of $200 to adopt-back my son.  This is because there was no business needing to make a profit on it.  Only the court paperwork.

In most other nations, it is illegal to sell children, it is considered to be human trafficking.  In Canada and the U.S., however, it is just considered to be business.  See Gerow’s article “Infant Adoption is Big Business in America” (PDF) for a good analysis of why this unregulated industry exists.

The United Nations has also expressed concern:

“During the course of 2002, the Special Rapporteur received many complaints relating to allegedly fraudulent adoption practices. Where such practices have the effect that the child becomes the object of a commercial transaction, the Special Rapporteur, like his predecessor, considers that such cases fall within the “sale” element of his mandate. The Special Rapporteur was shocked to learn of the plethora of human rights abuses which appear to permeate the adoption systems of many countries. The Special Rapporteur considers that the best environment for most children to grow up in is within a family, and the adoption by a parent or parents of a child who does not have a family able to look after him or her is a commendable and noble action. Regrettably, in many cases the emphasis has changed from the desire to provide a needy child with a home, to that of providing needy parents with a child. As a result, a whole industry has grown, generating millions of dollars of revenue each year, seeking babies for adoption and charging prospective parents enormous fees to process the paperwork.” – from “Rights of the Child:  Report submitted by Mr. Juan Miguel Petit, Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography in accordance with Commission on Human Rights resolution 2002/92.  

Want to do something about it?  Write to your legislator and let them know that this is human trafficking and you are offended and appalled by it.  Ask them to pass laws to take the profit out of adoption, to prevent situations where money needs to change hands in order to provide a new home for a child.  Ask them to pass laws to protect unwed and new mothers from reproductive exploitation.  And,  if you are seeking to adopt, refuse to patronize these businesses.   Instead, look at alternatives where you are not paying in order to obtain a child.

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13 thoughts on “Babies for Sale

    stef39 said:
    August 18, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    It cost me $1000 to adopt back my daughter…that’s only because I had to retain a lawyer to get through the nasty adoption judge who still managed to make it hell on us to get it done…she showed her bias with burning vitriol right there in the courtroom. Neverthless, I got it done for a grand…your point has been clearly made…thank you for putting the truth out there!

    steffi m said:
    September 8, 2011 at 12:27 am

    Learn something new everyday in the wonderful world of adoption. It just made my stomach curl. thinking of maybe pedophiles being able to buy a baby because no one is checking out who they are as long as their check is the right amount.

    val said:
    September 21, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    Hi Cedar, can you give us the source of these? Thank you

      Adoption Critic responded:
      September 21, 2011 at 10:43 pm

      The names of the baby broker businesses are in the files names of the graphics. If you click on each graphic, it displays it in full-size, and the name of the file is the name of the business. I didn’t want legal trouble, so I didn’t put it into text of the post. But if you google the file names (replace hyphens with spaces), you’ll get to their pages.

    Kayla said:
    November 10, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    im sorry but this is ridiculous! I could NEVER sell my child. NO MATTER WHAT. money doesnt mean a good loving family.

      Adoption Critic responded:
      November 10, 2011 at 10:57 pm

      Yeah, but in these cases, I am certain that the expectant mothers have NO idea that their babies are going up for sale like this. And every single adoption agency in the US and Canada behaves this way, selling babies this way, except they call it “paying for adoption services.” It’s a euphemism, and unfortunately it is legal because they can give an itemized list of all the “costs” that they incur in order to “provide” this “service.” Sorry, but when money changes hands in exchange for a child, the world over, it is recognized as human trafficking. But in the US and Canada, no-one has organized to complain to lawmakers yet about this, so it remains a legal grey area.

      And yes, the natural mothers often DO get “kickbacks” in the form of what is euphemistically called “birthmother expenses.” Again, they have NO idea that they are actually selling their child.

    Colleen said:
    November 11, 2011 at 2:18 am

    No one gave me a dime and I would have not dreamed of taking one. I wish it never happened and that I was not exploited.

    von said:
    December 18, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Better still encourage family preservation and not adoption unless absolutely unavoidable for those not wanted, not able to be raised by their families or in unsafe situations.

    Big Shiny Adoption « Adopted in the UK said:
    May 12, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    [...] Babies for Sale provides a PRICE LIST showing how a child that is not a ‘healthy white freshly-squeezed [...]

    Juno « stfuadoptoraptor said:
    May 14, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    [...] most middle-class white couples will pay for any baby even if it doesn’t quite look like them; that black babies usually come at a discounted price because they’re considered an imperfect produ…; that it’s just a different life, not a better life that is actually more likely to be full of [...]

    jess said:
    February 13, 2013 at 7:46 am

    what if i was going to have a baby for a couple and they were going to give me a fee for bills . and a lawyer was going to be there at the birth and have me sighn adoption papers i have three kids already and i just want to help out my firend because she cant have baby .

    7rin said:
    March 27, 2013 at 10:42 pm
    Dot said:
    July 17, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Your article is very timely. It is a disgrace that adoption has become an “industry” in which children are essentially being treated as commodities and “sold” to purchasers through social workers and agencies. Excessive fees are being requested even by many well respected agencies because the system of background verification, home study, court fees, etc.,… has become costly and time intensive.

    Another potential solution would be to simply remove government regulation from this area. Would children suffer if that happened? No. Do not assume that prospective adoptive parents or birthparents are abusers simply because the birthparents are not raising a child. But DO punish every confirmed case of child abuse with significant penalties.

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