It is understandable why a desperate childless couple might do anything to have a baby, but those who exploit their unhappiness for profit are not so easy to forgive.
In this deeply disturbing episode of Africa Investigates, Ghana’s undercover journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas and investigative reporter Rosemary Nwaebuni team up to identify and expose some of those those behind Nigeria’s heart-breaking baby trade.
It is a scam that exploits couples desperate for a baby and young pregnant single mothers – often stigmatised in a country where abortion is illegal except in the most dire medical emergency. It is also a trade that international NGOs have identified as sinister and out of control.
Filming undercover, the team find bogus doctors and clinics offering spurious fertility treatments in return for large amounts of money. In their guise as a childless couple, Anas and Rosemary are falsely diagnosed by one dodgy clinician as being unable to conceive children.
When the footage is reviewed by an official from Nigeria’s Ministry of Health, he is appalled at the way vulnerable people are being conned. “You should not allow these people access to the public,” he says.
But worse is to come. The team go on to uncover orphanages and clinics that act as brokers for illegal baby sales, by which naive, greedy or simply desperate young mothers are “persuaded” to hand over their newborn children for cash.