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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Nigerian 'Baby Farms'

Recent police raids uncovered what authorities believe to be a network of "baby farms" across the region. According to reports, young women with unwanted pregnancies are being lured to facilities by promises of abortions, where they are locked-up and forced to give birth to children whom they are offered a token fee of under $200 to part with; other women "lease" their wombs to produce babies for sale. The children are then sold for anywhere from $2500-4000.

Reports of such practices began surfacing back in 2006, but proving them was hard. One dramatic raid last year captured a 50-year old gynecologist who had been luring ostracized, pregnant women with promises of abortions to a dusty hospital in Enugu, where he imprisoned them and raped them frequently. He then gave them about $170 for their unwanted baby. He was captured when he sold a woman a day-old infant she tried to smuggle into Lagos.

Around a dozen of these places - masquerading as maternity clinics, foster homes, orphanages, or shelters for homeless, pregnant girls - have been closed-down. In some cases, the doctors were inviting young men to impregnate the girls.

While the reports intimate the babies were being sold as adoptions, The OddBlog has been closely covering the ongoing Witchcraft trade in the region and believes some of the children may have been killed and mutilated as part of the many rituals witchdoctors in the area practice, and/or because they were believed to be "dæmonic."

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

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