GMA News Online

Newborn babies for sale outside some Metro Manila hospitals

January 9, 2013 11:30am

Childless couples have a desperate alternative to the legal adoption process: the underground trade in newborn babies.

The buying and selling of babies is rampant around Metro Manila hospitals, GMA Network's "Brigada" program has reported.

 A certain "Sarah," who claims to be a broker, told GMA reporter Hadji Rieta that she helps complete deals between buyers and sellers of babies.

Sarah explained that couples who have a hard time conceiving a child are their usual customers.
She even sold her own baby before. Sarah is pregnant again and is already scheduled to sell her baby once more.
“Sa hirap ng buhay, inisip ko din na hindi ko naman kaya alagaan yung anak ko. Hindi ko kayang pakainin [at] pag-aralin kaya ko pinapaampon,” she reasoned out.

She sold her eldest for P5,000 but later regretted the low amount she received for her child.
She sold her second child for P20,000 and she will be selling the child that she is currently bearing for P25,000.
When asked if she felt any guilt about selling her children, Sarah said, “Kapag may pera naman akong kaunti naiisip ko rin yung mga anak ko, bakit ko binenta.”

Sarah said her sibling likened her to a "mother pig," saying “sabi nga po ng kapatid kong isang baboy daw ako na paanakan.”
Happening near hospitals

Rieta asked an undercover asset to confirm information that there were babies for sale near a certain hospital in Manila.
The asset was accompanied to the hospital by Rieta's team but went alone to meet up with a group of women who were baby agents.

One of the agents talked to the asset and offered a baby for 25,000.

She also advised the asset to pay up and take the baby immediately after birth, adding that the unborn baby has high hopes of looking good because the mother is beautiful.
The agent also mentioned that it was important for the mother and the buyer not to meet each other so that the mother cannot look for her child if she changes her mind later.
Teenage moms

Meanwhile, Rieta's team undertook another covert operation through a different undercover asset.

The asset met with an agent who said a pregnant teenager would like to sell her baby.
The next day, the agent then took the asset of Rieta's team to the 17-year-old mother, who said an ultrasound test showed that the baby was a girl.

Asked why she was selling her baby, the teenager said, “Basta sa ikabubuti niya,” adding, “alam mo naman ang kahirapan ng buhay."
The teenage mom offered her baby to the asset for P10,000.
Baby kidnappers

Meanwhile, a separate report on GMA News Online showed that there were people who kidnap babies for profit.
Marjorie Angoy Francisco gave birth at the Ospital ng Sampaloc is one such victim of the modus operandi.
Francisco recounted that a stranger – Melogine Jarasa – allegedly befriended her and earned her trust.

Jarasa then offered to take Francisco to a bus station where her baby got kidnapped.
Jarasa was later caught and charged with kidnapping.
Another mother, Imelda Polsotin, also lost her baby to a woman she chatted with before she slept.
The suspect – Marivic Alepatros – has also been caught and filed charges.

At the Ospital ng Maynila, the newborn baby of a 17-year-old mother was taken by a woman who was pretending to be a nurse while wearing a nursing uniform.
The report said kidnapped babies are sometimes used by syndicates to become beggars on the streets.

Infant protection system

With the help of new technology, the theft of newborn babies can now be prevented.

Medical City in Pasig is now using this technology called the infant protection system to prevent the snatching of babies.

Every newborn baby is attached with a mechanical tag which is paired with another tag worn by the mother.

The device can be programmed to give a limit to how far the baby can be away from the mother. If the tags are separated within a certain distance, it will sound a built-in alarm.

“Kapag panganak kinakabit 'yun [tag] sa baby and then sa mommy. Tapos pinagmamatch po 'yun,” explained Dr Jaymie Tang, a pediatrician from Medical City said when interviewed by Saksi's Bernadette Reyes.

“So pagka nagkahiwalay yung mommy at yung baby or ibang baby yung nabigay sa mommy, mag-aalarm yung device na 'yun,” Tang added. - Andrei Medina/ VVP/ HS, GMA News

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