By Serah Onyeche Sanni | Mondaq Business Briefing | August 28, 2019
This article summarizes how surrogacy is currently practiced in Nigeria, despite there being no legal framework. The author makes a case for establishing laws that would “curb the existence of baby factories and exploitation of both surrogate mothers and commissioning parents” and consider the interests of children “as much as the interests of the parties to the contract.”
This investigative piece builds on an earlier Al Jazeera article on Nigeria’s baby farmers.
In conversation with more than ten Nigerian women, the Reuters team documents their experiences being duped into giving up their newborns to strangers – in houses known as “baby factories” – or being offered children whose origins were unknown. It also describes the use of “studs” (men paid to get women pregnant), and the cultural and political context that is making it hard for the Nigerian government to respond.
This episode of “Africa Investigates” explores a three-fold problem: pregnant women voluntarily or being forced to give up their children for adoption; young girls confined and forced to produce children that are sold to childless couples trying to avoid the stigma of infertility and adoption in Nigeria; and the role of “miracle” doctors in the country’s rapidly growing demand for children and “baby farms.”
While it does not discuss surrogacy, the implications of what it does talk about, on international adoption and commercial surrogacy, is clear and cautionary.