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Each case of baby trafficking revealed raises the price of intermediaries

19 October 2012 / 21:10:52  GRReporter
4337 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova
Police in Heraklion on the island of Crete seized two Bulgarian women whilethey were attempting to sell the newborn baby of one of them. The mother aged 24 and the other woman tried to sell the child for 11,000 euro. After their capture, they were sent to the prosecution to testify and the one-month-old baby was brought to the children’s ward of the city hospital.

The mother had arrived in Greece shortly before the due delivery date. The other Bulgarian woman had brought her specifically to sell the baby. The woman gave birth at the University Hospital of Heraklion on 12 September.

The Heraklion police was informed a week ago that the two women were looking for a buyer. A policewoman immediately got in touch with them, pretending to be a candidate buyer for the child. She was able to meet with the two Bulgarian women twice. During the second meeting, they agreed on the price. Initially, the women wanted 20,000 euro, then they gradually reduced the price to 15-16,000 euro and finally agreed on 11,000 euro.

Two days ago, the policewoman went to the house of the women accompanied by a colleague of hers, who pretended to be a doctor. He went there to allegedly examine the child before the transfer of money. When the mother and her accomplice received the money, the two police officers arrested them.

This particular case of the sale of a child is the seventh in a row that has been revealed in Heraklion since 2004. Greek police chronicles contain similar stories several times a year and often, the main characters are women from Bulgaria, of Roma origin in the majority of cases.

A young man, who prefers to remain anonymous for obvious reasons, is telling the readers of GRReporter how he has personally helped his sister to adopt a child that way.

"People who are interested in adopting children from foreign women are usually the ones who cannot have their own children and women over the age of 40 who, for one reason or another, are not married and want to have a child."

According to our interlocutor, things happen the following way: "Usually, the circles of people who fail to adopt a child in Greece or are tired of failed attempts at in vitro fertilization are always aware of someone who was able to obtain a child, to buy a child actually. I want to add that some of them go to Bulgaria, where the woman is subject to in vitro fertilization and often, the contact is established while still there. I myself went through a long period during which we could not have a child and I can assure you that this is very painful.

That friend of yours introduces you to the way these things happen. He tells you with great respect about a man, who undertakes such cases and who is usually a representative of a profession related to them: a lawyer or a notary.

In a family that obtains a child this way, there is no birth and things are somewhat different at first. But the child is a child and love is love. These people are ready to make sacrifices for their children and therefore, they highly respect the man who has brought happiness into their home.

All of that matters to the procedure that follows. For this is the first time in your life you are close to the chance of having a child. This man starts only "accidentally" telling you how important it is to have a child, how the child changes your life, how his life has changed with the appearance of his children and other things. I think this is a mind game through which he tries to understand what you want, if you're determined, if you have the money, if he can trust you, that you will not go to the police. All this happens in a series of meetings with him.

After he is sure that he can trust you, he tells you that he knows a family with financial difficulties. The woman is pregnant and ready to give birth, but she has no means to raise the child. Then, you say he can count on you. The truth is that at this point, you do not care about any legal obstacles, you just see yourself close to your dream of having a child coming true.

Then, he tells you that it will cost you 30,000 euro and that the price is fixed. Intermediaries never tell you that the child is not of Greek origin. This is a fact that everybody knows but none of those wishing to have a child are interested in the nationality. They tell you only the story of unintended pregnancy and begin to give you conflicting information about where the child is. He tells you the names of at least three different cities and that the baby will be born in one of them in the next couple of days. Some parents say they prefer a child that is not of Roma origin and they really obtain children with a fair skin. Those, for whom it does not matter, usually get children with a darker complexion. Personally, I think this is absolutely unacceptable, but we must speak of the things as they happen.

Another "psychological war" or a mind game follows. The intermediary begins bombarding you with conflicting information about the date of arrival of the child, whether the child was born or not. He calls you to tell you to go to get the child, and then he cancels the meeting. And one day, he makes an appointment in some open area where another car could not move or park unnoticed. You carry a travel bag with money with you, hand it over and take the child then. After a while, the mother appears to sign a document that she waives her rights to the child and agrees with the adoption and all documents are legally concluded. In fact, you give 20,000 euro at the beginning and the remaining 10,000 euro - after all the legal procedures have been completed.  

As he says, there are cases in which they take the child back because the mother wanted him back. "You can imagine how the adopters felt, although the mother has every right to abandon her initial decision, I think. Furthermore, the child was not more than one year old."

He believes that it will be very difficult to change things despite the cases that have been revealed. "The only thing I wish is for the mother to receive a larger amount of the money. These people need money and therefore, they sell their children. On the other hand, it is very difficult to adopt a child in Greece."

Our interlocutor admits that there is no guarantee about where the children will end up when the adopter has not been checked but just has the money to buy them. "This is the big risk. The truth, however, is that the more the state sets strict requirements, and very rightly I think, the stronger the thirst for a child of people whose claims the social services have rejected for one reason or another. And there will also be people who will sell their children to cope with their financial problems somewhere."

According to him, every time the police announce the capture of players involved in illegal adoptions and child trafficking, "the only thing that changes is the price of the "service." Although I do not think that, anyone incurs costs in practice. The only consequence is the risk the intermediary takes."

As is clear from the most recent case, prices remain much the same as before despite the crisis. "It's all about a matter of agreement. When you agree on the amount that you will pay, the intermediary tells you not to announce it to another interested person in order to be able to ask him for as much money as possible."

Tags: SocietyBaby traffickingAdoptionForeign women
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