Child harvesting

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In 1904, Elizabeth Ashmead of Philadelphia was arrested, along with several of her associates, and charged with running a "baby farm"

Child harvesting is the active drafting of parents and children for the adoption or trafficking market and is particularly associated with and prevalent in some international adoption countries and markets.[1][2][3] Typically, a relinquishing family or parent is misled or lied to so they permanently give away the child for adoption without any hope of ever re-connecting with the child.[4] Child harvesting is often done in a baby factory or baby farm. This is a location where women are encouraged or forced to become pregnant and give up their newborns for sale.[5][6][7] Some poverty-stricken women have stated they voluntarily worked at baby factories, motivated by the prospect of monetary gain.[8][9][10] The children are sold for adoption, or trafficked to work in plantations, mines and factories, will carry out domestic work or are sold into prostitution.[9][11][12] Less commonly they are tortured or sacrificed in black magic, witchcraft rituals.[5][6][7]

Baby farms have been uncovered in India,[13][14] Nigeria,[15] Guatemala,[16] Thailand[17] and Greece.[18]


Child harvesting in Nigeria is a new trend in human trafficking whereby perpetrators of the institution use structures disguised as maternity homes, orphanages, clinics and small scale factories[19] to lure pregnant girls to live and deliver babies in return for monetary compensation. The trend is precipitated by various factors including a social premium placed on child bearing, infertility and teenage pregnancy hastened by the unwanted social stigma associated with the last two factors. A black market for newly born babies developed in parts of the country to provide infants to wealthy families who prefer cheaper clandestine methods as a substitute for surrogacy, in vitro fertilization, assisted reproductive technology or adoption through social services.[20] The first publicly reported case of a baby factory was inside a report published by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation in 2006.[20] Since then most of the discovered baby factories are found in Southern Nigeria with high incidence in Ondo, Ogun, Imo, Akwa Ibom Abia and Anambra.[20] From a single identified baby factory in the years 2008 and 2009, the number of identified factories have increased to a total of five in 2013 and eight in 2015.[20]

Majority of the women in such factories are young unmarried women from lower income households who are scared of social stigmatization as a result of an unwanted teenage pregnancy. Some of the young girls are lured to the baby factory after searching for abortion clinics. In addition, to luring young pregnant women, operators of such factories also kidnap their young victims for procreation.[20]

Nigerian Raids[edit]

In 2008, a network of baby factories claiming to be orphanages, was revealed in Enugu, Enugu State (Nigeria) by police raids.[12][21][22] In 2011, Nigerian police raided two more hospitals, thereby dismantling two baby factories: in June, thirty-two pregnant girls were rescued in Aba, Abia from a hospital of The Cross Foundation;[5][7][11] in October, seventeen pregnant girls (thirty according to some sources[23][24]) were rescued in Ihiala, Anambra from a hospital of the Iheanyi Ezuma Foundation.[6][25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Geoghegan, Andrew (2009-09-15). "Fly Away Children". ABC Online. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  2. ^ "ファイナル風俗". 
  3. ^ Press, Berkeley Electronic. "SelectedWorks - David M. Smolin". 
  4. ^ Geoghegan, Andrew (2009-09-15). "Fly Away Children". ABC Online. Retrieved 27 November 2010. ‘relinquishing’ Ethiopian parents or carers may have been duped into giving up their children through a heartless process 
  5. ^ a b c Nigeria 'baby farm' girls rescued by Abia state police, BBC, June 1, 2011
  6. ^ a b c Nigerian baby factory raided, News24, October 16, 2011
  7. ^ a b c Nigerian 'baby farm' raided – 32 pregnant girls rescued, The Guardian, June 2, 2011
  8. ^ Thai Police Free 14 Women From Illegal Baby-Breeding Farm In Bangkok, The Huffington Post, February 24, 2011
  9. ^ a b The shocking truth about the baby factories, Mail Online, December 22, 2006
  10. ^ Tuckman, Jo (13 March 2007). "£700 for a child? Guatemalan 'baby factory' deals in misery and hope". The Guardian. p. 25. 
  11. ^ a b Police in Nigeria free 32 pregnant teens from 'baby factory;' newborns sold into labor, sex markets, Daily News, June 2, 2011
  12. ^ a b Nigerian 'baby factory' raided, 32 teenage girls freed, AFP, Jun 1, 2011
  13. ^ "Police discover 'baby farm' in India where newborns are sold for $1,500". 
  14. ^ "India: Cops bust 'baby farm' where you can buy an infant for $1,400 - Crime - Dunya News". 
  15. ^ Smith, David (2 June 2011). "Nigerian 'baby farm' raided – 32 pregnant girls rescued" – via The Guardian. 
  16. ^ Tuckman, Jo (14 March 2007). "£700 for a child? Guatemalan 'baby factory' deals in misery and hope" – via The Guardian. 
  17. ^ "Thai Police Free 14 Women From Illegal Baby-Breeding Farm In Bangkok". 24 February 2011 – via Huff Post. 
  18. ^ "The shocking truth about the baby factories". 
  19. ^ Eseadi, C., Ikechukwu-Ilomuanya, A. B., Achagh, W., & Ogbuabor, S. E. (2015). Prevalence of baby factory in Nigeria: An emergent form of child abuse, trafficking and molestation of women. International Journal of Interdisciplinary Research Methods, 2(1), 1–12.
  20. ^ a b c d e Makinde OA, Olaleye O, Makinde OO, Huntley SS, Brown B. (July 2015). Baby Factories in Nigeria: Starting the Discussion Toward a National Prevention Policy. Trauma Violence Abuse [Internet. (cited July 24, 2015)]
  21. ^ Police Raids Reveal Alleged Network of 'Baby Farms', Fox News, November 15, 2008
  22. ^ 32 teens freed in Nigeria "baby factory" raid, CBS News, June 2, 2011
  23. ^ Police Arrest 30 Pregnant Teenagers, Proprietor At Anambra Motherless Home, 247ureports, October 15, 2011
  24. ^ Police arrest 30 pregnant teenagers, others at motherless babies home, The Guardian, October 16, 2011
  25. ^ 17 pregnant teenagers arrested in Anambra baby factory, The Nation, October 15, 2011

External links[edit]