Why exactly is selling your newborn illegal/a bad thing?

The other day I heard Nancy Grace prattling on about how some evil woman did this, but assuming the end user is not going to use the baby in a sacrifice to Satan and is going to take care of it and all, why is this so bad? Obviously at some point the mother decides she doesn’t want it, and if a child isn’t wanted, isn’t it best to find someone who does? Is it because society feels an adoption agency is best to handle this, or is the whole for profit thing?

And is it a crime to give your newborn away as well, or only if there’s money involved? What if you know the recepient, like you have a baby and decide to give it/sell it to your sister to raise? Is the law different then? Surely there are many out there who had a baby and a relative raised it, isn’t that about the same thing?

I see it as like prostitution, where its odd to be in trouble for selling something you can give away for free legally, but I am open to the notion that there is a really good reason it is illegal that I am not thinking of.

Adoption is very expensive. It can cost up to $30,000 to adopt a child, and that’s just for administrative costs.

If money was paid to the mother for the child, the cost would be even more prohibitive. Plus, it would likely encourage some people to bear children just for the sake of adoption, and frankly, we have enough of an overpopulation crisis as it is.

Is selling people ever a good thing?

Well that’s another interesting point- so a poor couple in the US desperately wanting to adopt a newborn child is completely SOL, if they go through legal channels?

Isn’t an adoption agency basically selling the child as well?

I believe selling another human being is slavery.

Let me ask, is there a point where it would become not okay? If you can sell a newborn, how about a 2-year old? An 8-year old?

How about a straight barter deal - your baby for drugs? Is that too cheap? Should there be a minimum price for a baby?

This isn’t a case of a “slippery slope” mentality. This is a drop off a sheer cliff.

No…private adoptions can be expensive, due to all kinds of things…there are legal fees, sometimes, the adoptive couple pays medical expenses for the birth mother, etc. But there are alternatives…adopting through an agency like Catholic Charities, for example, can be relatively inexpensive, and there is always the foster care system, as well.

Not exactly…I don’t think they (or the birth mother, for that matter) is supposed to turn a proft. The costs are supposed to be just those involved in the actual administration of the adoption.

But if you go the surrogate mother route, you’re legally in the clear. I just don’t get why with surrogacy for example, you make the arrangement up front (I aussme before conception), you’re OK, but an agreement made when your about to drop is not?

I have often wondered the same thing. For example, part of the fee to an adoption agency goes to some attorney whose makes a living administering adoptions. So the lawyer is allowed to make a living out of it. But it is taboo for the mother to get anything.

I agree about the “slippery slope” thing but if the scenario is just a poor mother somewhere trying to give a better life for her child, and the mother has a bunch of semi-starving other children, why can’t the mother make a little money to help her other children and also get a new home for the baby?

If I understand correctly, a “surrogate mother” is one who carries another couple’s child in her womb. She is not the genetic mother. If she is paid (which is controversial itself), what she is paid for is, not the baby itself, but for “renting out” her womb.

I think calling it ‘baby selling’ is inaccurate and prejudicial in the first place. The biological mother doesn’t own the baby before the transaction, and the adoptive parents don’t own the baby after the transaction. It is instead a case of a parent accepting money to transfer custody of her biological child to someone else. Viewed that way, it is not slavery or anything like it, because nobody can or does own any person.

Both types of surrogacy are done, those where the child is the offspring of the birth mother, and those where she is just the carrier.

Not quite. Forcing another human being to do work for you against their will (with several exceptions) is slavery.

Or buying a child to be used as a sexual slave. The idea about adoption is that the social workers are supposed to try to insure that the potential parents have the best interest of the child at heart, not the needs or wants of the adoptive or birth parents. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s better than putting your kid up for sale to the highest bidder.

I wouldn’t be surpised at some of these private adoptions where “all expenses of the birth mother” are paid, those expenses might not include a car to get to and from doctors’ appointments, housing and something slipped under the table. But it’s still better that these adoptive parents have to be vetted by someone outside the process.


Right. Selling them is trafficking.

You can’t sell your baby because it’s not your property. It’s a person you have a legal but severable relationship with.

You and your baby have a legal parent-child relationship, and while that relationship exists you have certain rights over the baby and duties towards it. The state can’t do anything about about your decision to have a baby, but it has a legitimate interest in ensuring the welfare of the baby if that relationship is severed and transferred to someone else. That’s why the whole process is overseen by the courts, which is where the lawyers and third parties come in. They’re not selling your baby for you, they’re perfoming a service by assuring the court that the termination of your parental rights and creation of parental rights of the adoptive parents both follows the law and is in the best interest of the child.

The payments are supposed to be for the mother’s expenses related to the pregnancy (time off work, etc.) and costs of medical care during pregnancy. But if you are making the payments at or even after birth, they obviously did not go for those expenses – they’re already past.

As Sarafeena mentioned there is always foster care. Well, let me clarify that a little bit. You asked about a “poor” couple in the US…If a single person or a couple makes enough money to support themselves and follows the procedures for being licensed as Foster Parents they can foster to adopt. Sometimes they could even get a newborn that they raise and then if/when parental rights are terminated they are usually given first consideration of adopting. That process is very inexpensive. Basically, just the filing fee.

If they aren’t making enough to pay their bills, then they won’t get licensed for foster care. Or maybe I should say that they shouldn’t get licensed for foster care.

Having followed the Baby M surrogacy case as close as anyone, I can tell you that is not true. Surrogacy was judged to be immoral and perhaps criminal by the NJ Supreme Court. The contract was deemed illegal.

The Supreme Court then decided to give custody to biological father Dr. William Stern and his wife, Dr. Elizabeth Stern. Biological mother Mary Beth Whitehead stated they got custody because they had more education and money than she did, ignoring her family’s past of alcholism, abuse, banruptcy, and more recent pregnancy (by someone other than her husband), divorce and remarriage. It always amazed me that Mary Beth’s supporters tried to portray her as a saint, when her family was pretty disfunctional.

Selling a baby is selling a human being, but the arguement with surrogacy is can the genetic father (or couple) guy their genetic child? Is the surrogate mother being paid for her time and effort or for the actual baby?

So, in your perfect world, if I honestly feel I am not in a position to raise my child, and give it up for adoption, the adoption agency should have no qualms about giving it to the destitute couple who don’t even know where the rent money for their trailer is coming from next month? And that couple should then be able to sell the baby to whoever for some quick dough?

Put me down for an extra large WTF.