How much money will a newborn baby sell for? In Nigeria, young mothers may sell them for $160-$190. To the married, childless couples desperately in need of a baby, the newborns are then resold for up to $6,400.
The Associated Press reports that 32 pregnant teens and Hyacinth Orikara, the director of an illegal clinic, were arrested last month in a police raid on the clinic located in the southeastern city of Aba in Abia state.
Arinze Orakwe, a spokesman for the national Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Persons says that Orikara is the only suspect and the girls will not face charges. Instead the girls, ranging from 15 to 18 years, will now help investigators in the search for the organizers of baby trafficking rings.
Nigeria is a country where tradition still reigns supreme. Childlessness is seen as a taboo and wives who cannot give birth are often ridiculed or even cast out. While adoptions done legally are out in the open and may draw attention to the couple’s plight, illegal adoptions allow for a private alternative.
Capt. Jipe George, the chairman of the board of trustees of Little Saints Orphanage in Lagos, says that these illegal adoptions are usually “a conspiracy between the husband and wife.”
Men like Orikara reap the profits of the conspiracies. The young mothers, who are often forced or tricked into the illegal practice, rarely get the chance to see the face of their babies before they are taken away to awaiting couples.