Baby Factories in Nigeria: Starting the Discussion Toward a National Prevention Policy

Trauma Violence Abuse. 2017 Jan;18(1):98-105. doi: 10.1177/1524838015591588. Epub 2015 Jul 24.


Baby factories and baby harvesting are relatively new terms that involve breeding, trafficking, and abuse of infants and their biological mothers. Since it was first described in a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization report in Nigeria in 2006, several more baby factories have been discovered over the years. Infertile women are noted to be major patrons of these baby factories due to the stigmatization of childless couples in Southern Nigeria and issues around cultural acceptability of surrogacy and adoption. These practices have contributed to the growth in the industry which results in physical, psychological, and sexual violence to the victims. Tackling baby factories will involve a multifaceted approach that includes advocacy and enacting of legislation barring baby factories and infant trafficking and harsh consequences for their patrons. Also, programs to educate young girls on preventing unwanted pregnancies are needed. Methods of improving awareness and acceptability of adoption and surrogacy and reducing the administrative and legal bottlenecks associated with these options for infertile couples should be explored to diminish the importance of baby factories.

Keywords: baby factory; child abuse; human rights; human trafficking; infertility; violence.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adoption / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Adoption / psychology
  • Child
  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Human Rights*
  • Human Trafficking / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Human Trafficking / prevention & control
  • Human Trafficking / psychology
  • Human Trafficking / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infertility / psychology
  • Male
  • Nigeria
  • Pregnancy
  • Rape / prevention & control
  • Rape / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult