MMA: Complex adoption rules spurring illicit trade in babies


PETALING JAYA: The complex and tedious adoption procedures in the country are fuelling demand for illicitly obtained babies, says Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) President John Chew.

He suggested the government streamline current adoption procedures to curb the demand for illegally obtained babies.

“Parents can get very desperate when they want children and adoption is one way to have children.”

He also said unwanted pregnancies often forced mothers to resort to traffickers and that pregnant foreigners were often caught in this dilemma.

“It’s difficult to adopt babies born from mothers who are foreigners, particularly in obtaining a birth certificate,” said Chew.

He said the MMA did not support illegal adoption and appropriate action should be taken against unscrupulous doctors involved in the trade.

As such, the MMA has called on the authorities to investigate Al Jazeera’s exposé today on a baby-selling racket operating in the country.

In the documentary, which aired today, an Al Jazeera probe team found babies being advertised for sale online for between US$1,500 (RM6,600) and US$2,500 (RM11,000).

The “Malaysia: Babies for Sale” documentary revealed the illicit trade involved a network of traffickers, doctors and government officials, all profiting from vulnerable women.

“We hope the authorities will investigate the allegations by Al-Jazeera. If it’s true, then the authorities must take the necessary action,” Chew told FMT.

He said obstetricians involved in the delivery of babies and care of post-delivery mothers were responsible for issuing birth certifications.