In SOME OTHER CHILD, one of the main characters is an unwed mother of twelve during World War II. She goes into labor, is told her baby died in birth and that the child was buried in the hospital rose garden. In reality, the nurse in the delivery room saw the baby move and stole her. Crazy scenario? Unlikely event? Nope. Truth is stranger than fiction.
Baby trafficking is not a new phenomenon. Some of the more horrific ones in recent history include the Cole babies between 1927 and 1963 and the butter box babies from the late 1920’s to the 1940’s. Katherine Cole of Miami, Florida, claimed to be a physician. Unwed mothers came to her and either aborted or delivered their babies, whom she then sold to adoptive parents. Children delivered and sold in this manner have no clue about their medical histories; many are still seeking their real parents.
The owners of the Ideal Maternity Home in Nova Scotia, Canada, a midwife and an unordained minister and missionary, offered discreet deliveries to couples and to unwed mothers. With no laws to constrain them, they conducted a brisk business of selling babies to families in the United States. Those deemed unmarketable, became butter box babies, so called because babies they could not sell were placed in boxes that milk and butter were delivered in, given minimal food and left to die. The infants were buried in butter boxes.
Babies continue to be a valuable commodity and many countries have an abundance of girl babies. More developed nations will pay big bucks for babies, and until recently, the notion that these infants were actually trafficked humans was not a topic for polite conversation. Colombia has been one of the biggest offending countries, with mothers being told to have their babies, then being informed they child died at birth. The very much a
live infants are sold to adoptive parents. Laws regarding out of country adoptions are changing and adoptive couples are more likely (one hopes) to ask if the baby’s mother actually voluntarily gave her child up for adoption. The problem of documentation still remains an issue. Otherwise, that baby could be SOME OTHER CHILD.
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