Babies for Sale

Roland Stahl
December, 2021

     One of my most radical ideas a long time ago was the notion that it should be permissible to sell unwanted babies.  There should be some limits ~ babies might only be sold, for example, before the age of six months.  Of course the market would be carefully regulated, and all purchasers would have all of the obligations as well as all of the rights of natural parents.  This has always seemed to me to be a better way of dealing with an unwanted pregnancy than having an abortion.  Abortions might still be legal, since most parents might prefer to carry their child to term and then sell it than to have an abortion (depending on the expected price of their baby).  Why should any child have to grow up in a family where one is not wanted?

     I can’t really think of any objections to this idea, so I don’t know how to refute them.  It seems to me that it would provide a great relief for many families and women who really don’t want another child, yet would stop short of having an abortion.  If they could simply sell the unwanted offspring to persons who wanted one, it would solve most of the problems around abortion.  Some women whose babies might be expected to fetch a high price might deliberately conceive children just to receive the income.  

     Far more radical would be the idea of allowing parents to sell a child of any age up to the age of majority.  The threat value alone would be worth a lot.  “You’d better behave, or we’ll sell you to the Gypsies!”  Perhaps any child over the age of six years or more might have to approve of any sale.  The speculation is that any child whose parents decided to sell one would most probably be much better off with the new parents.  

     What would happen if the baby market were to bid up the prices of some available babies?  Something of the sort would seem to be inevitable, and the market would find its levels.  I have never understood the objections to this idea.  It seems to solve a problem.

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