The report poses the question: “What makes the people sell their children?”

Selling organs or blood ‘on the black market’ is not a new phenomenon. Faced with their daily struggles, people in Iran have tried selling parts of their body or blood. What’s different today though is the open nature of such advertising, with many people putting up posters in the streets across cities in Iran to offer up their body parts.

‘Wombs for rent’ offers are also becoming more wide-spread. The Noavaran newspaper recently published a report stating that “in the country’s economic and social mess and among strange, uncomfortable ads on selling kidneys and other things seen on the corner of the streets, hospitals, and clinics, there has also been a new, more exotic ad in recent years and that is selling fetus in the womb.”

Unfortunately, posters like “newborn baby sale” or “children sale” are not new either, however, they are receiving more and more media attention as they are discovered more frequently. Abbas Zareh (Iranian Ministry of Health) revealed in an interview with the Mehr News Agency that selling newborn babies is not a new phenomenon, even though it’s gained more public attention thanks to social media and the internet.

“I do not say that people were not aware of such incident before and only the social media channels released them,” he said. “Rather, I say that these cases were also available in the past, though they were rare.”

Many pregnant women choose to sell their unborn babies as a last resort of getting someone to take care of them. A hand-written note in Tehran, stuck on a wall on the Azari street reads: “One fetus to be born in twenty days will be sold since there is not a proper condition to be taken care of. Urgent!”

Takers can’t always be found, leading women who have just given birth, to abandon their babies in the streets. Recently there a picture received widespread attention across social media channels worldwide. It showed a newborn baby girl abandoned with no clothes or supplies in the 24-Metri Street of Ahvaz.

Other stories that have been circulated across social media channels reveal bitter tales of horror – another baby was found in among the garbage, where finding fetuses in the garbage bags is a normal occurrence.

‘Baby-sale’ advertisements have also been circulated across the internet, and can be found on banners on different websites. One such banner reads: “I am a 32-year-old woman and 4 months pregnant. Those who do not have children and want the custody of a child please let me know. Thus they will also get a baby. I am also a single woman with no source of income and I cannot raise a child.”

Forced with dire economic struggles, people choose to sell their unborn babies. What’s more shocking, though, is that some parents opt for putting up their own children for sale. Recently a 6-year-old girl was put up for sale. The advertisement explained that the father needs money to give his wife a dowry because they have been divorced. 

While acts like these can’t be justified, they can be understood from an economic and social point of view. The reason for the misery that the Iranian people are facing is because of the fraudulent acts that the Iranian officials are undertaking, leaving their own people in poverty, who are forced to resort to dire means to fight for their existence.