Selling Newborns

Poor, single women get pregnant with children they can't afford to raise. Well-to-do couples want to adopt but have to stay on the waiting list for years. The solution to both these problems is obvious and simple: allow mothers to sell their newborn children.

Then, instead of aborting the child or (more likely) trying unsuccessfully to raise the child well herself, the poor single mother could sell the baby. The poor mother gets money she desperately needs, perhaps to care for her other children. The well-to-do couple gets the baby they've been dreaming of. Most importantly, the baby gets to be raised by a well-to-do couple rather than a poor single mother. Everyone's better off.

Why can't we implement this common-sense solution to two social problems? Because of high-minded compunctions against selling human beings.

December 2001