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A Black Market for Newborn Babies?
Rumors in War-Torn Province Say Nurses, Families Involved in Illicit Trade
03/26/2009 6:08 PM ET
Rumors are circulating in the Iraqi province of Diyala, northeast of Baghdad, of a clandestine market in newborn children, mediated by nurses or by people posing as nurses in the delivery wards.

A doctor in the provincial capital of Ba'qouba told Slogger that rumors are circulating in the hospitals that nurses in the natal wards have been overheard attempting to persuade new mothers to sell their children in exchange for large amounts of cash. The specific amount is unspecified in the rumors.

One rumored conversation concerned a nurse in Ba'qouba who reportedly offered a new mother the opportunity to sell her newborn son into the hands of an unnamed wealthy family who could not procreate due to fertility problems.

Other rumors also implicate hospital nurses in the rumored trade in newborn children, whereby some nurses are said to have stolen new babies to sell away, telling the families that the babies had not survived. Babies born after midnight are said to be particularly vulnerable due to relaxed security in the hospitals in the late hours.

IraqSlogger sources in Diyala Provice could not confirm these rumors at this time, but note that the circulating accounts appear in tandem with hard economic times and unstable security situation in the war-torn province – which may be fertile ground for a trade in newborn children, but also fertile ground for urban legends about such a trade.


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