“Buy Us a Baby”

This has to be a joke. Or maybe it is a publicity stunt or something. Or maybe I’m seeing things. But all I know is that my stomach hurts when I see shit like this.

http://buyusababy dot blogspot.com — “Buy Us A Baby” (update: I removed this link so they do not get more hits from me)

But – I have to pose a few questions. Let me be clear that I am in NO way defending this site. What I want to point to is the very real economic forces that a site like this reveals. It is well known that adoption is expensive, it is documented that there are racial disparities within the grid of what children are ‘more desirable’. So does a site like this simply ‘put on blast’ the very real ways that adoption, the adoption and foster care industry IS about money?

The comments on the site are overwhelmingly negative, and I agree with most all of them, but what about the people who made the site? They are probably saying to themselves, “well, I want a baby – a baby costs money – I dont have any money – how can I get some money to get a baby?” Again, I dont like the language the direct ‘bottom line discourse that says ‘purchase’, ‘buy’, ‘money’, but does it take away from the reality that on many levels children have become commodities?

This is the deeper question I would ask us to ponder. What about the ways in which the social welfare system is set up, (public or private) depends upon numbers? Not to mention, like most exploitative economic systems, the suffering, trauma and deliberate dismissal of the human condition (birth mothers, children) that is also a major aspect.

So yes, the site, the people, the entire language behind it is f*cked up, but we have to push harder to think about the entire ideology behind it that would allow these folks to think that puttin it out there to begin with is in any way acceptable.

I want to make a small parallel here to my relationship with hiphop. One of the things that we talk about in African diaspora studies are the ways that hiphop music, ideology and visual discourses are directly linked to the circumstances of violence, poverty and continued racist conditions that much of it emerges from. I could, as an academic who has worked through these problems over and over – start saying, “well, at some point, those people need to take responsibility for what they are saying, what they are producing, etc. However, it doesnt change the fact that today the messages continue to be vocalized, the same detailed “news broadcast” that late 1970’s/ early 1980’s gangsta rap out of LA vocalized. Something is still wrong, something still stinks, something violent and oppressive is still continuing to have a very material consequence on large parts of our black communities, and we cant continue to act like the messages being broadcast dont have meaning in a larger  context of global violence, disrespect for human life and all about money and profits.

 UPDATE 12:53 am: These idiots. Take another look at the site. They have disabled comments and removed what was a huge response of negative comments that was visible to the public! I want to encourage any of you who wrote comments or want to – to continue to send them email to let them know that this is SO hurtful and wrong! Jezuz people.  Additionally, here is contact information for PayPal so we can let them know they are brokering babies.

Paypal, Inc.
Attn: Legal Department
2211 N 1st Street
San Jose, CA 95131

AND

eBay Inc.
Attn: Legal Department
2145 Hamilton Avenue
San Jose, California 95125

or customercare@paypal.com.

Advertisements

13 thoughts on ““Buy Us a Baby”

  1. Wow, this is pretty damn offensive for a lot of reasons (adoption fundraisers always rub me the wrong way — even when the language isn’t this over the top). I think it speaks to the need for adoption reform so that the reasonable costs of adoption are more regulated (and there isn’t the sliding scale for babies) and reflect the cost of services to families and aren’t so consumer-driven.

    I am more and more bothered by the way the adoption industry is about “building families” (i.e., serving the need of adopters) and not about preserving families or creating alternative families for the good of the children. What these people have written certainly reflects the gist of the industry; no wonder they feel justified in writing it.

    (But how in the hell are they going to explain this to their kid — assuming they adopt?)

  2. Yikes…that is just ridiculous…I don’t have any words…like seriously, I’m rendered speechless. And that’s pretty bad, for me…hah

    But seriously…I can barely push past their ridiculousness and idiocy. Gross Gross Gross!

  3. The flip side of this capitalistic “buy us a baby” approach is federal and state sponsored foster-adoption. Kinship arrangments receive far less financial and practical support than adoptive placements with strangers. Adoption Assistance Payments involving stranger adoption can continue until age 18. Yet, there is no federal, state or local program of support that guarrantees support to keep families together. (My use of the word “families” is deliberate. There would be no reason to refer to “biological,” “birth,” and “first” families if parents and children were kept together.) Most adoption recruiters are white and — no surprise — they recruit white adults almost exclusively as adoptive parents. The child market, privitized and government subsidized, is corrupt and panders to the desires of wannabe parents. I have benefitted from this unjust arrangement. What will I do to change it?

  4. You can also flag the website as having offensive content.

    Thanks for bringing up this site.

    There’s no longer a way to email them, so if you did, and have the email address, you might want to post it. Frankly, there are enough cases these days of agencies using the web to disqualify potential adopters, any ethical agency would have educated them well enough to use bless offensive language, and would be put off by this during the homestudy process. So we know two things: they’ve not even started the adoption process, even reading books about it, and they don’t know how badly this could damage their chances.

    If anyone gets a chance to email them, they may want to point that out.

  5. amen, amen, amen @ mollie!

    which brings me to the jolie-pitts. i confess to being a big angelina and her multi-cultural family fan until the new baby “selection” conversation started to make headlines. enough already! if she loves her children as much as she claims ( and i think seems) to – she should take a minute to make each of the babies she already has feel special before going for the next. she needs to hold on to ways in which she is NOT madonna.

  6. WOW
    I have seen a few in the last couple of years but the wording on that one was bad. I think the runner up on ebay had to be the one where the hightest bidder would get to name thier newly adopted baby (when they completed the adoption), the money of course going to pay for the adoption itself.

    MSP

  7. Having scrounged and saved and lived a lesser lifestyle to pay for our adoptions ourselves, people who seek ways to have others fund their adoptions just chap my a**.

    If the buyusababy folks can’t afford ART (assisted reproductive technologies), why not go straight to adoption? Why not plunk their cash into a sure thing? And by the way, if they can’t afford ART, I presume they also can’t afford adoption. If they can’t afford to become parents, how are they going to afford to raise the kid??? They’re likely either going to have to pay for childcare or lose or decrease one income. And then there are all of the other costs associated with raising a child.

    Hmmmm. And I wonder if the notion of “buying a baby” is illegal enough for any authorities to care??? (I know a federal law enforcement officer wwhhoooaaa-evil laugh). Then there’s the tax implications — wonder what the IRS would think??

  8. Someone with whom I shared information about buyusababy did a bit of sleuthing and found that it’s not really an infertile couple, but rather a good old-fashioned cyber scammer.

    The sleuth apparently clicked the old Paypal button and found that it’s registered to an info@circlenorth.com. So like any person who knows the internet is a WEALTH of information these days, she plugged that good old email address into Yahoo and found a Matthew Skaletski registered to it. Here is a nice PROFILE page for Matthew: http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/view_profile.php?userid=8003004

    NOW take particular close attention to the nice 29 year old boy who totes the fact that he is into HARDWARE HACKING. Yep, that’s our boy. That’s our family that wants our hard earned dollars. So it seems that Mr. Matthew doesn’t really want a baby. It seems that Matthew simply wants your money.

  9. So.. Lets say this site is for real. You’re at the end of you’re rope and have tried all other means to have children. Where do you stop? I can’t say that I would post an “add” asking strangers for donations but on the same token I would not begrudge anyone for doing the same.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s