Where fruit of the womb has a price tag

Same story different offenders.

The story of Ayangbiles is one of the dozens that I have read this year. The couple got married in 2009, had fertility issues, pay some guy to get them a baby. Tale such as this is common that it has become another ‘negative’ story that people automatically tuned out of.

Ayangbiles, in their quest to seek for help with their fertility problems met a traditional doctor in 2013 who then became the family’s Fertility Specialist Consultant and friend.

Idiat Babatunde, a Polytechnic student had a baby she was unable to care for, when she had to return to school, she gave days old baby to Mr Onalaja, the traditional doctor to look after the newborn on her behalf.

The father of the child and the mother were not on speaking term.

Mr Onalaja contacted his friends, the desperate couple – money exchanged hands,  Ayangbile’s became ‘proud parents’ of days old baby boy.

Going rate for newborn in Nigeria is around 300k naira.

Ayangbiles’ joy was short-lived when their landlord who knew the couple had no child saw them with a new baby. The landlord alerted the police to investigate the case.

Ayangbiles and the traditional doctor were arrested by the police for interrogation.

Baby boy returned to the mother – likely to sell him out when the dust settles.

Story such as this is very common in Nigeria, almost every week someone is caught stealing a baby from neighbours, hospitals etc for the purpose of selling on to childless couples.

Other times it is baby factory whereby pregnant teenagers are housed and cajoled to  let go of their newborn babies in exchange for cash. Sarah’s story in the video was 2 years ago, since then many more have been uncovered.

Like many social issues in Nigeria, adoption, surrogacy is frowned upon, because of this, couple with fertility issues would rather go through extreme measures to get a child than to speak openly about it and seek for help in a dignified way.

While we have good Samaritans such as Ayangbiles’ landlord who feel compelled to speak out for the sake of the poor child, I don’t see any end to the problem of baby factories in Nigeria.

Each time cases such as this is ousted, either on an individual level such as Ayangbiles or corporate level such as baby factory: we hear about arrests but no follow-up updates to inform citizens.

How is a crime such as this ever going to be reduced when we failed to address the  cause of why children are treated like merchandise?

Categories: Nigeria

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23 replies

  1. Now I’ve read the story, I see your point. Can you imagine?! He was asked to keep the baby and he sold him. But then, who leaves a day-old baby and travels?! She could have gone with him or stayed back till he was strong enough to travel. Story not nice at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha my Queen, long time no hear o

      Exactly, who does that to days old baby and to leave a child to a traditional doctor who deals in baby selling without the intent of selling poor child – only Nigerians would believe the woman.

      You think I interchanged roles? I’m a chameleon eh 🙂 – I don’t have any sympathy for either the biological mother or the Ayangbiles as the idea of paying for a child is sickening. If it is an informed surrogate, then fine but I know Naija isn’t ready for that, we prefer baby factory aka exploiting teenagers for that role.

      Queen, you think they will update us? No way, I’m sure next week, w’ll hear the same story with different victims (the baby) popped up in the news!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My President, I was wondering who’s side you were on reading through the comments. It seems you interchanged roles. Well, what I garnered is they should have gone through proper channels. And i’m asking myself the ‘channels’ you talk about, how functional has it been to other couples? Just asking cos I don’t know.

    I totally agree getting a good deal for the baby, but the mother couldn’t be bothered about the child and now I worried where that baby will end up.

    Maybe the police should have taken them plus the mum to the proper channel and have them do the process legally. That way, there is no mago mago inside the matter. I wish I knew the follow up on this matter but I trust you will keep me updated *wink*

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmmmm…Strange world. Looking at it another way, this landlord also denied the baby a good home. Weird!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha, I think the landlord has saved the couple from potential harm of jungle justice. But seriously how can these guys be good parents if they are only interested in the baby and not the process.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I BEG YOUR PARDON? Who on this earth is interested in the process more than the baby? Children are really an extension of ourselves, our stake at immortality. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

        Liked by 1 person

        • That’s the point Yas. The process is important for the sake of the child and because the child is too young to be asked hence adults who are desperate to have a child should act in the interest of the little baby they intend to raise.

          In other words, societies where adoption/surrogacy have clear rules make it adults’ responsibilities to put the interest of the child first and then theirs just as people would do with their biological children.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I get your point, really I do. Especially when it comes to adopting children. It is VERY important to ensure the children get a good deal when they can’t speak or fight for themselves. But as far as it goes for reasons for ever having children, especially biologically, that is load of nonsense people tell themselves. But the bottom line is every parent only ever decides to have children for their own personal reasons (Parents’ reasons), not any child’s. PERIOD.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Oh yeah, I agree, it is all about adults’ interests to have a family.

              However, couple with fertility issues will keep finding ways to ‘fit in’ by buying if they can afford one or stealing ‘stray’ kids.
              Sad but arresting desperate couples is useless without giving them alternatives.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Well said Ma.
                Indeed without credible alternatives this crazy trend of reaping children just worsens. Still in the African setting credible alternatives are only part of the solution. Most Nigerian couples will still feel pressure into passing adopted children as theirs because of the stupid cultural stigma attached to not having biological children & therefore prefer this dubious methods that will not leave any legal paper trail liking them to adoption. Silly.

                Liked by 1 person

  4. The devaluation of human life is very entrenched in that part of the world. It stems from or is an effect of centuries of slavery.
    I hadn’t realised slavery had been long practiced in Africa from the time of the prophet up to the arrival of the Europeans around 500 years later. In all that time, next to no one chose to challenge ‘the norm’ of trading people like commodities.
    Why does society ‘scorn’ people who have fertility problems, why not allow them to go for medical treatment? This is just becoming plain silly…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it is beyond silliness in 2015, just plain ignorance. From Christian point of view, Sarah the wife of Abraham waited a long time before having a child so the story goes…

      I think the scorn comes from the assumption that everyone should be able to have biological children so if there is a problem it must have been something one or both couple have done to deserve the childlessness.
      Also, large number of the population are not aware of several options available to them. Admittedly, some are too expensive i.e IVF treatments.

      Traditionally, in Yorubaland at least, there is no adoption. A childless couple can take on a family member from either side to raise as their own, all done informally. But nowadays, things are changing people want situation where they can raise a child without the burden of indebted to a family member so baby factory is born.

      Yes, medical treatment would be the first step to identify who really needs the help – although there are clinics offering such help now but for the most part it falls on deaf ears of many people.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Nothing silly except in commentator’s insinuations. I agree, tough, that until people accept that not everybody is destined to have a biological child and take alternate and legal route to have a baby, this will continue to plague society .

        Ignorance, as you suggest, is high on the list of causes of this societal problem that can be reduced and eventually solved through education.

        To try to link the problem to some half a millennium supposed slavery by Africans is more than preposterous.

        Thanks for this, as alway s,

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Fila,
    It looks like they caught them this time. Thank heavens for observant landlords and the authorities stepped in. This is happening all over. Did you hear how there is a growing business in China for babies? They literally steal the baby from one family and sell them to another family. Perhaps the baby in the Ayangbiles’ case the baby would have been better off with them. They really want the baby and the real parents didn’t seem to care. In China the parents who have lost their children are devastated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Leslie.

      Yes, it seems to be a big global issue now. Didn’t hear about the Chinese one but I saw a documentary of the Indian one whereby their case is similar to Nigeria baby factories. But how desperate can one be wanting a child at all cost without interest in the biological parents of the child?

      I think Ayangbile should have gone through the proper channel of adoption. Lagos state has some info online, not ideal but at least they could have proper paperwork that proves their intentions of raising the baby.
      You are right, the baby likely to be better off with the Ayangbiles as it seems the mother wanted to get rid of the boy in exchange for cash. I suspect going through a third party such as their doc is cheaper and faster, now it backfired.

      Wonder world…


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