Neighbours Speak On PH Baby Factory

By Donald Mike-Jaja

March 15, 2009 /The Tide Online

More facts are emerging from all nooks and crannies of Port Harcourt and its suburbs on the alleged “baby factory” where pregnant teanagers are kept and their delivered babies sold to barren women.

Investigation by The Tide On Sunday, revealed that Mrs Florence Anthony, the alleged founder of Mother Mary Florence Foundation is now battling to retrieve a set of twin she sold out to one of her clients, a childless family.

It was authoritatively gathered from the neighbours where the alleged “motherless home” situates in Sangana Street, Port Harcourt, that one of her agents was finding it difficult to locate the actual buyers of the twins.

We understood that the police in Port Harcourt have ordered Mrs Anthony, the alleged child-trafficker to produce the set of twin or be prepared to face the music.

The police matching order, the neighbours said have sent jitters down the spines of the suspect as she is now running from pillar to post to retrieve the set of twin in question.

But her effort is yielding no fruits as she could not trace the family she sold the set of twin.

This, our sources said, forced the woman (suspect) to hire a search team to locate the buyers of the twin in any part of the country, no matter what it would cost her, in order to avoid the threat from the police.

It could be recalled that Mrs Anthony was arrested a forth-night ago for illegal adoption of babies and kept somewhere along Sangana street in Port Harcourt.

It was alleged that the woman was encouraging young girls to get pregnant and entered into agreement with them to sell the new born babies to the home at between N20,000 to N30,000 per child.

But she in turn, sells the new born babies at between N400,000 and N500,000, if it is a male child, while a female child is sold for something less.

The arrest of the alleged child-trafficker and others over the matter has already been confirmed by the image-maker of Rivers State Police Command, Mrs Rita Abbey.

Meanwhile, the suspect, Mrs Anthony has been released on bail while the seven babies recovered from her alleged “Motherless” Baby Home have been transferred to the government-owned Motherless Babies Home, Port Harcourt.

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Not so long ago and even to this date

When I read this article it made me think of a time not all that long ago when the US had it's own baby farms. The practices of Georgia Tann immediately come to mind, but she certainly was not the only one who ran such a baby selling operation. In my opinion the "campus" of the Gladney Center for Adoption, is not much different from a baby farm, it only looks more lush and is backed up by rich and influential people, but that doesn't change the fact they keep women to breed for couples that want to have those children.

A new breeding culture

It's interesting to note how "poor" countries are being used to procure children for the desperate and infertile around the world.

Not too long ago, I was reading Pregnancy becomes latest job outsourced to India, a piece that features the big booming business in surrogacy, and how it's benefiting the people in India.

Experts say commercial surrogacy — or what has been called "wombs for rent" — is growing in India. While no reliable numbers track such pregnancies nationwide, doctors work with surrogates in virtually every major city. The women are impregnated in-vitro with the egg and sperm of couples unable to conceive on their own.

Commercial surrogacy has been legal in India since 2002, as it is in many other countries, including the United States. But India is the leader in making it a viable industry rather than a rare fertility treatment. Experts say it could take off for the same reasons outsourcing in other industries has been successful: a wide labor pool working for relatively low rates.

Critics say the couples are exploiting poor women in India — a country with an alarmingly high maternal death rate — by hiring them at a cut-rate cost to undergo the hardship, pain and risks of labor.

"It raises the factor of baby farms in developing countries," said Dr. John Lantos of the Center for Practical Bioethics in Kansas City, Mo. "It comes down to questions of voluntariness and risk."

Patel's surrogates are aware of the risks because they've watched others go through them. Many of the mothers know one another, or are even related. Three sisters have all borne strangers' children, and their sister-in-law is pregnant with a second surrogate baby. Nearly half the babies have been born to foreign couples while the rest have gone to Indians.

Ritu Sodhi, a furniture importer from Los Angeles who was born in India, spent $200,000 trying to get pregnant through in-vitro fertilization, and was considering spending another $80,000 to hire a surrogate mother in the United States.

"We were so desperate," she said. "It was emotionally and financially exhausting."

Then, on the Internet, Sodhi found Patel's clinic.

After spending about $20,000 — more than many couples because it took the surrogate mother several cycles to conceive — Sodhi and her husband are now back home with their 4-month-old baby, Neel. They plan to return to Anand for a second child.

"Even if it cost $1 million, the joy that they had delivered to me is so much more than any money that I have given them," said Sodhi. "They're godsends to deliver something so special."

In another article,India - Surrogacy, Adoption and Cyber Crime, written in 2008,  the author notes:

Surrogacy in India is estimated to be a $445 million business with the country becoming a leading service provider in this human issue. This is because of the low cost of treatment and the ready availability of women willing to rent their wombs. In comparison to USA where surrogacy cost is about $70,000, it costs only $12,000 in India.

It yet another article, "Childless couples look to India for surrogate mothers",  readers are led to believe no harm, or long-term consequences are felt by the mother or child involved in the surrogate transaction:

After two fruitless years of searching in Britain, including putting an offer on their car windshield offering $17,000 for a surrogate, Bobby and Kalwinder Bains took out advertisements in Indian newspapers. The couple has found an Indian surrogate mother, who they are paying $720 for implantation of the embryo, $9,000 if she conceives and delivers their baby, and double that if she delivers another baby next year.

"These amounts are still nearly three times cheaper than what surrogacy in the UK would cost us," they say.

Their search put them in touch with several interested Indian mothers. Now the couple has started www.1-in-6.com, a website to help link up prospective parents and surrogate mothers from India.

Research at the Centre for Family Research at Cambridge University shows that British surrogate mothers did not suffer major emotional problems. "We did find that surrogate mothers did find the weeks following the handover difficult, but this became easier over time," says Vasanti Jadva, a researcher from the same university.

Meanwhile, it's not just the poor, third-world inhabitants working for the child placement industry -- there are Americans doing the very same thing, all because there is a high demand for healthy babies.  [See "Surrogate Wombs to Rent: 'The Curious Lives of Surrogates' "

We now live in a culture that tells mothers "Do not bond with the babies inside you", and at the same flip of the same coin, we are seeing more and more therapies being developed because they "help" children with bonding and attachment difficulties.  Why?  Because selling babies and various types of "specialized therapies" make lots and lots of money.

Here's a question:  What ever happened to adoption being "in a child's best interest", and being the social-cause that provides families and homes for those without any living parents/family members or place to call "home"?  [Hint:  adoption has always been about social engineering and providing children to those who have the money and connections to obtain one, regardless of whether that desire to have is honorable, or not.]

Pound Pup Legacy