Baby factories taint surrogacy in Nigeria

Reprod Biomed Online. 2016 Jan;32(1):6-8. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2015.10.001. Epub 2015 Oct 20.


The practice of reproductive medicine in Nigeria is facing new challenges with the proliferation of 'baby factories'. Baby factories are buildings, hospitals or orphanages that have been converted into places for young girls and women to give birth to children for sale on the black market, often to infertile couples, or into trafficking rings. This practice illegally provides outcomes (children) similar to surrogacy. While surrogacy has not been well accepted in this environment, the proliferation of baby factories further threatens its acceptance. The involvement of medical and allied health workers in the operation of baby factories raises ethical concerns. The lack of a properly defined legal framework and code of practice for surrogacy makes it difficult to prosecute baby factory owners, especially when they are health workers claiming to be providing services to clients. In this environment, surrogacy and other assisted reproductive techniques urgently require regulation in order to define when ethico-legal lines have been crossed in providing surrogacy or surrogacy-like services.

Keywords: assisted reproductive techniques; baby factory; ethics; infertility; regulation; surrogacy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Human Trafficking* / ethics
  • Human Trafficking* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn*
  • Infertility / epidemiology
  • Infertility / psychology
  • Infertility / therapy
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted / ethics
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted / statistics & numerical data
  • Surrogate Mothers* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Young Adult