America is arguing over abortion rights, but there is a modern, dark reality called ‘baby farms’. Today’s baby farms feed the black market of adoptions. Deliberately impregnated women have no say in the matter.
Victorian Baby Famers
In the late Victorian era, ‘baby farms’ abounded. If a single woman fell pregnant, she could no longer get work at the workhouse. She was considered immoral and her options limited. She could prostitute herself, starve, or ‘get rid of the baby’. The only form of contraception was a risky abortion.
Baby farmers received either a lump sum or periodic payments. Lump sums were dangerous, as the farmer could get rid of the child and start over again, vastly increasing the income.
Wealthy women also put their infants into the homes of villagers. The parents of author Jane Austen fostered and her siblings out. Charles Dickens’ character, Oliver Twist was also a resident of a baby farm. Very few of the babies surrendered to baby farms survived their infancy.
The babies that did survive gave the baby farmers an further income. First, they extracted fees from desperate birth-mothers who were unable to care for their child. Then the farmers would demand large sums from those who wanted to adopt the child.
Baby farmers were eventually tried for murder, manslaughter, or criminal neglect. Amelia Dyer disposed of many of the 400 babies she took in. Margaret Waters drugged her babies with opiates.
They hanged the last baby farmer in 1907, Alice Mitchell, in Australia. Thirty-seven babies had died in her care. Her death brought about adoption coming under the jurisdiction of the government.
Modern Baby Farmers
Modern baby farming, or child harvesting, is a new twist to sex trafficking. Baby farms have been found in China, India, Nigeria, Guatemala, Thailand and Egypt.
We will give this young Vietnamese woman the name Lydia. Her husband abandoned her and she couldn’t feed her young son. The marriage had been difficult and ended in divorce. Lydia was desperate, her family too poor to help her.
An older woman approached Lydia on social media. She spent a month exchanging messages with Lydia, gaining Lydia’s trust. The older woman offered Lydia a job in China. Lydia was desperate to earn money so she could look after her son and her poverty-stricken family.
Tricked And Black Market Baby Farms
Lydia, only 21-years-old, was bundled into a vehicle driven by strangers. They travelled 1200 km, over winding, rural roads, through rugged mountains. Lydia knew there was no job when they finally stopped outside an apartment building.
Lydia ended up locked in a room full of pregnant Vietnamese women, also duped. Babies would be born as the result of rape.
Lydia became pregnant from artificial insemination. The women were kept locked in a room. They did not know what would happen to them once their babies were born.
These baby farms fed the black adoption market. The going price for girl babies was round $9000. A boy was more valuable, at around $13000. Boys could earn money for the family. Often parents didn’t want a newborn baby girl, so they killed her.
Rescued From The Baby Farms
Their captives gave the young women smart phones without an SIM card, so they could play games and entertain themselves. Lydia worked out a way to access nearby Wi-Fi, knowing that her actions put her life and the unborn child’s life in danger.
She sent a message to her family, begging for help. The family contacted the police in Vietnam, who contacted Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation. The organization has rescued 1,178 trafficked people.
Michael Broswoski, an Australian, founded the charity Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation. Their task is to rescue sex slaves and children living in poverty in Vietnam and China. Many of the victims are under 18-years old.
Lydia was rescued by the foundation. The traffickers offered a bounty of $3,190 for anyone who would return Lydia to them.
A Chinese man tracked Lydia’s family, claiming his sperm had impregnated Lydia. He said the traffickers had tricked him. Lydia’s child belonged to him.
Lydia knew she couldn’t feed and raise her newborn baby and her four-year-old son. She finally relented when the baby was three-months old and handed the boy over to the father.
Lydia works in a shrimp factory and struggles to make ends meet. She is raising her four-year-old boy.
Women everywhere have a unique voice in their sphere of influence. Yet, the abuse of and limitations to women continues. Most of us live in a world that is far removed from the world women like Lydia live in. The next time you want to grumble about something, take time to think of women like Lydia.
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