The Philippines has an acute problem with desperately poor parents selling off their babies for adoption to wealthy foreigners.
Though commercial adoption of children is a serious crime in the Philippines, recent developments have shown that social media sites are facilitating the practice. The commercial adoption black market that traffics infants and children has spread widely to the online platform in recent times, reports state.
The trade has been active in southeast Asia and East Asia for decades and has gained a considerable amount of attention because of the difficulty in catching the people behind the trade. Today, a simple Google search gives several hits for several Facebook pages that have details about children who are up for 'adoption'.
There have been several instances where couples from the Philippines and other southeast Asian countries were arrested while trying to sell their babies. Most of the parents trying to sell their babies come from extreme poverty.
The trade happens behind fake accounts and the anonymity of the internet. Typically, adoptions happen when women from the slum regions are not able to take care of the child. Children out of wedlock are also put for adoption in a predominantly Catholic country. Most of the women end up selling the child instead of placing the child under a proper facility. Women, through their fake accounts, deal with the basic details of the adoption with the brokers and then arrange for the transaction to happen.
The price of an infant is relatively low, ranging from US$100 to $1,000. Commercial adoption is seen as child trafficking in the Philippines. A person can be charged with life imprisonment and a fine of $40,000-$99,000.