Criminal Justice

Bizarre Baby-Selling Story Spawns More Human-Trafficking Hysteria

There's no such thing as a free baby. But human-trafficking hysteria? We've got that in abundance, thanks.

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shazam791/Flickr

Georgia mother Elaine Sunwoo Williams was worried that her baby-crazy 14-year-old daughter would go and get herself knocked up. So, assuming someone must have a spare baby lying around, Williams posted an ad on Craigslist. In it, she asked any new mothers with unwanted babies to drop them off in a "baby box" at the Williams residence, where she and her daughter would "provide a loving home." 

But it turns out there's no such thing as a free baby. While several people contacted Williams about her ad, they were offering to sell, not donate, their children. Williams respectfully declined. End of story? Oh, no. 

Once the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office was tipped off to the ad, they arrested both Williams and her daughter, charging each with unlawful advertisement/inducement for adoption of children, a felony. Under Georgia law, it's illegal "for any person, organization, corporation, hospital, or association of any kind whatsoever which has not been established as a child-placing agency by the department to: (1) Advertise … that [they] will adopt children or will arrange for or cause children to be adopted or placed for adoption; or (2) Directly or indirectly hold out inducements to parents to part with their children." Inducements are thereafter defined as "financial assistance, either direct or indirect." 

Williams is currently in the Forsyth County Jail on a $5,610 bond. If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine for the Craiglist post. The daughter, who was charged as juvenile, is reportedly with relatives. 

Now obviously trying to procure strangers' babies on Craigslist—for your 14-year-old, no less—isn't the most sensible idea. But what takes this story from "bizarre local news" to "oh holy fucking shit, here we go (again)" is local law enforcement and media's reaction to the case. Instead of viewing this as an ill-conceived act from a single person of questionable sanity, they're sounding the alarm about human trafficking and bringing in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).   

An NBC Atlanta broadcast warned viewers that baby selling is "part of human trafficking." With no supporting evidence—"no one seems to know how many babies are sold on the black market," NBC admits—the station still goes on to claim that baby-selling "is an aspect to the human trafficking industry that continues to grow." NBC also quotes Louise Shelly, author of the book Human Trafficking, claiming that "human traffickers are increasingly trafficking pregnant women for their newborns." Shelly, too, fails to cite a scrap of evidence for this claim. 

Sheriff's Deputy Epifanio Rodriguez, who has worked in law enforcement in the area for 13 years, said he's never seen another similar case. 

Meanwhile, the sheriff's office is asking Homeland Security to help it find people who emailed Williams offering to sell their babies so that they can be charged with human trafficking. 

The mission of DHS, by the way, is to "prevent terrorism and enhancing security; secure and manage our borders; enforce and administer our immigration laws; safeguard and secure cyberspace; ensure resilience to disasters." Which one of those do you think hunting down bad parents falls under? 

NEXT: GWU Police Ordered a Student to Remove the Palestinian Flag from His Dorm Window

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  1. Actually, babies are one of the few things you CAN get for free, if you’ve got a willing accomplice and nine months to kill.

    1. Oh, they’re anything but free.

      *checks Quicken*

      Yep, not free.

      1. Let me clarify. ACQUIRING a baby costs nothing. The upkeep is a bitch, though.

        1. I know what you meant.

          I just wanted to complain, because that’s what I do.

        2. ACQUIRING a baby costs nothing.

          Well, as long as you just squirt it out in your own home with no professional assistance, maybe.

          1. Well, as long as you just squirt it out in your own home with no professional assistance, maybe

            Those are… wait for it… wait for it… back-end costs.

            1. Not if you’re doing it right.

              1. Very few people pay for sex, X. Your experiences are not universal.

                1. I misread your comment, but it is true that if you’re making use of the back end you’re probably not gonna get a baby.

                  In the interests of full disclosure: i’m married, so practically everything i do is payment for sex.

                  1. After you’ve been married a while , you’ll find that you have to pay for everything you do and say through the with-holding of sex.

                    “Oh, shit! Why did I have to say that?”

                    1. And if you think you’re being smart by not saying anything at all, it turns into HOW COME YOU CAN’T COMMUNICATE WITH ME.

                      I just take Chris Rock’s advice – nod along with occasional interjections: “Uh huh. Uh huh. You don’t say. You don’t say. Uh huh. I told you that bitch crazy.”

        3. Its not the fall that kills you either.

      2. But certainly there are no costs to bear during those nine months, right?

        1. If you’re upper middle class, insured, and have a lot of family and friends, you can come out ahead in the first 9 months.

          http://www.target.com/gift-registry/baby-registry

          1. That’s ok, I’ll pass. So far I’ve managed to avoid any “hi, you’re my dad” knocks on my door, too, so I’m ahead of the game.

            1. I said UPPER MIDDLE CLASS.

              Your Explorer with 250k miles and a do-it-yourself stereo upgrade disqualifies you. So does your doublewide.

              1. It’s a converted shipping container, asshole! Microhousing is not a trailer park!

                1. I’m certain that the shipping container is much sturdier than your average trailer made out of 2x2s. So, yeah, you’re shipping container is upgrade to trailer.

                  1. It WOULD be an upgrade, but he couldn’t figure out how to get it open, so technically he lives in a little burrow UNDER a shipping container.

                    1. Under, inside…just like with your mom, what does it matter?

                    2. Just be kind to her, she’s been through a lot.

                    3. Technically, a refrigerator box meets the definition of ‘converted shipping container’.

          2. And when you add in the fact that you get to start by fuckin’, having a baby is practically a no-brainer.

            1. Security Guard: Perfectly understandable, Mr. Melon. It was an honest mistake. Let’s just call it a a bad day…

              Thornton Melon: But a great view! You’re all right, officer. Here, a little something for the kids. [hands officer cash]

              Security Guard: I don’t have any kids.

              Thornton Melon: No kids? Well, get yourself some kids. Take it all. [hands officer more cash] And just remember, the best thing about kids…is making them!

              1. “Well keep adoption in mind. It’s a great way to have a kid without having sex.”

                1. “You’re under arrest for child cruelty, child endangerment, depriving children of food, selling children as food, and misrepresenting the weight of livestock!”

                  1. It took me too long to get the livestock joke.

              2. Just getting Kurt Vonnegut in it was awesome.

                1. “Fuck me? Hey, Kurt, can you read lips? FUCK YOU! Next time I’ll call Robert Ludlum!”

          3. My wife is a teacher who spreads her check out over 10 months instead of the full year, and our first is due in the middle of April. She will partake of NJ family leave insurance and private disability insurance while on maternity leave, and she will make more from 4/1 – 10/20 than she would have if she never got pregnant.

        2. But certainly there are no costs to bear during those nine months, right?

          Doctor visits and feeding pregnant woman = $$$$$$$

    2. What kind of hitman takes 9 months to kill? You should fire him and get someone more efficient.

    3. Free?

      You have no children, do you?

      A kid is a black hole that you pour all of your money into and it never fills up. Ever.

      1. I have a kid. Acquisition of said kid cost me nothing.

        1. Nathan Arizona Sr.: You want that $25,000 reward, you go ahead and claim it. What’s there to talk about?

          Leonard Smalls: Price. A fair price. That’s not what you say it is, and it’s not what I say it is… It’s what the market will bear. Now there’s people – and I know ’em – who’ll pay a lot more than $25,000 for a healthy baby. Why, I myself fetched $30,000 on the black market. And that was in 1954 dollars.

          1. + 1 Arizona quint. Nathan Jr. I think.

  2. Which one of those do you think hunting down bad parents falls under?

    You forgot the “be cruel sadistic bloodthirsty control freaks as a prerequisite for the job” part.

    1. Who says they’re bad parents?

  3. The DHS can’t save us from constant terror attacks despite a $55,000,000,000 per year budget. They don’t need these distractions.

    1. It’s like local cops going after drug dealers instead of rapists and murderers. Going after terrorists is difficult, dangerous work. Going after people like this is easy and makes money. It’s all about incentives.

      1. You don’t understand. You see, drugs cause people to commit crimes like rape and murder. So every time they catch a drug dealer, they are preventing an untold number of rapes and murders. So much so that they might as well ignore actual rapes and murders, since that would take time away from preventing rape and murder by catching drug dealers.

    2. Plus they’re very busy keeping America safe from the scourge of gay prostitutes.

  4. Wonder how much they’ll get for Williams house, car, other miscellaneous stuff.

    1. She was probably very poor, so even if she has a house, it’s probably not much. But whatever it is, they’ll gladly take it.

      1. Judging by her mugshot I’d guess you’re right.

        Don’t click that unless you have some brain bleach handy.

        1. Thereby disproving the stereotype that all asians are successful.

  5. No 1A issues here?

    1. Well somebody is very self-interested here….

      Have you had any issues your Craigslist ads?

      1. I use my van as advertising. The “Free Puppies” sign works like a charm. So far, no DHS.

  6. The person who did this, that is, the mother who advertised for a free baby on Craigslist might not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I fail to see how a crime was committed here. Who was the crime against? Who was harmed?

    The sad thing is that most of the people in our society will totally agree with what has happened here. The few of us who will question this as draconian and barbaric levels of state overreach are a very, very small minority. Yes, folks, sorry, but most of your neighbors are brainless sociopaths, who while feigning great empathy for everyone, will willingly see an innocent person dragged off to the gulags for a harmless offense against the great and holy state.

    And we question why Trump and Hillary are frontrunners for leading our nation.

    1. and not just the mom the 14-year-old was arrested on the same charges!

      1. Any word on how baby crazy the daughter is now?

        1. Well, I doubt she’ll ever wash off all of the crazy.

        2. Probably twice as much

          “See, mom, if you just let me get knocked up, we’d be getting money from the government, not being in prison! You’re the worst*!”

          *being 14, she’s of course unaware of facts of Nikki.

      2. Well, if you have to break a few more eggs to pad those numbers.

    2. was heartened to see the Facebook comments on Sheriff’s Office post had quite a few people saying ‘this is stupid, but criminal? type things

      1. I’m not even sure I’d call it stupid. More like ignorant. As in she might have known this could get her in trouble. Whatever, I’m sure there was no harm meant and this woman and her daughter should be released immediately and all charges dropped.

        1. How would she know? It’s not highly publicized like the war on drugs. Probably it got a little publicity when it was enacted, presumably because of there having been some scams?phony adoption services?& since then, nothing because no cases. Or if there were cases, they made the news only because they were about scams. Why would someone suspect that a sincere offer to adopt would require a license in their state?

    3. most of your neighbors are brainless sociopaths, who while feigning great empathy for everyone, will willingly see an innocent person dragged off to the gulags for a harmless offense against the great and holy state

      It’s not even about being against the state. A lot of people are just bloodthirsty pieces of shit who love seeing other people get punished. The state is the entity that punishes them, so that the average bloodthirsty coward doesn’t have to do anything, except for watch.

      1. If there were really a lot of bloodthirsty pieces of shit, then we’d see laws & policies enacted that just picked people out at random for abuse, allowing one no chance to avoid being targeted because it’d just be luck of the draw.

    4. They didn’t ask permission and were not obeying orders. Those crimes are death.

    5. Mens rea would seem to apply, but no one knows latin anymore.

    6. “The sad thing is that most of the people in our society will totally agree with what has happened here.”

      Nonsense.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIaORknS1Dk

    7. You think a crime requires a victim. That’s adorable.

  7. Who would want to even buy a baby anyway? They’re loud and gross.

    1. Well, women tend to like both babies and men, who share those attributes. So I’m guessing, a woman?

      1. Both frequently need changing

    2. Yes, but its not like you HAVE to cook it yourself or something. That’s what household staff are for.

  8. Mens rea is so quaint.

  9. BUT IF THEY WERE SELLING THE BABY FOR PARTS EVERYTHING WOULD BE KOSHER.

    Boom. Nailed it.

    1. EVERYTHING WOULD BE KOSHER

      I didn’t know Planned Parenthood was staffed by rabbis. Thanks for that interesting trivia, Eugene.

      1. Of course, who else but the bloodthirsty Zionist Joos would do such evil as chopping up babies and selling parts? They gotta be kosher, they just dip them in pickle juice, that’s how it works, duh!

      2. Here in LA, it’s largely Armenian. You’d hear a sentence or two in English, then the rest of the conversation would be in Armenian.

    2. They have to do that before it gets borned, FOE, you aint gots none that edumencation!

  10. Maybe you could just order parts from Planned Parenthood and assemble one yourself? That’s how I used to do computers.

    1. I didn’t realize that Planned Parenthood sold computer hardware. You should try Amazon or NewEgg next time you build.

      1. No, I was talking about babies. My friend is an Igor, though. YMMV.

  11. Georgia mother Elaine Sunwoo Williams was worried that her baby-crazy 14-year-old daughter would go and get herself knocked up.

    So…I was always under the impression that the reason you didn’t want your 14-year-old daughter getting knocked up was that…you didn’t want her to…you know, have a fucking baby.

    1. I’m gonna go out on a limb and posit that Ms Williams is a couple cans short of a six pack, Nicole.

      1. and started with an 18 pack

    2. That’s why I do not knock up fourteen-year-olds, I can tell you that much.

    3. Well if you get her a baby then you skip the whole pregnancy thing, and the potential for diseases from unprotected sex. And if the baby is a freebie that was dropped off in a box, when you get tired of it you can just drop it off in someone else’s baby box. Oh, and don’t forget no boyfriend problems or anything like that. C’mon, you gotta think these things through.

      1. Plus, you go from being unwed teen mom, to virtuous savior of otherwise-unwanted newborns.

        1. No, she’d still be an unwed teen mom.

          1. Dammit, Nicole. You are so still the worst.

    4. Don’t be so dense, nicole. Craigslist baby lets the daughter experience the wonders of teen motherhood without ruining her figure.

      1. Did you see the mugshot of her mom?

        I’m pretty sure the horse face has left the barn already.

        1. Holy bejeebus. I’d be afraid she might stew up the poor baby for porridge and eat it!

        2. Horse?

        3. Not a horse face at all. More swinish what with those close-set eyes.

    5. I think someone was trying for a breast and wing baby.

    6. She just wanted to save on groceries? I hear pregnant women are always hungry.

    7. Yeah, it really confused me that her solution was to… get her daughter a baby. I thought it was going to be some scare tactic to make the daughter realize how shitty it will be, or she was putting up an ad to have the daughter babysit infants.

      1. I think it was like that school thing where they make you take care of a bag of flour for a week, Only this was a real baby.

    8. Pregnancies at that young an age are relatively high risk. I don’t blame the grandma-to-be for wanting to minimize harm by having the 14 YO adopt, if she was convinced the girl was determined to have a baby one way or another.

  12. NBC also quotes Louise Shelly, author of the book Human Trafficking, claiming that “human traffickers are increasingly trafficking pregnant women for their newborns.” Shelly, too, fails to cite a scrap of evidence for this claim.

    She doesn’t need evidence. You see, these traffickers take women to “pharma parties”, where they are forced to ingest prescription drugs at random from a large fishbowl. After the women are suitably inebriated, the traffickers then bring the women to “rainbow parties” where they are forced to perform oral sex on as many men as possible. And then they attend “pregnancy parties” where they are forced to become instantly pregnant. And then, to top it all off, they are escorted to “butt chugging” parties, where alcohol is forced up their rectums!

    And yet Ms. Brown doubts these facts. For shame!

    1. Heck, my parents met at a jenkem party.

      1. Isn’t that the game where you pull the sticks out of the stack?

        1. You’re thinking of flakka.

  13. In a sane world, somebody would have just dropped by her house and said “You know, you really can’t do it that way. If you want to adopt, contact an agency. Here’s a list.”

    1. “You know, you really can’t do it that way. If you want to adopt, contact an agency state-approved human trafficker. Here’s a list.”

      1. In a sane world somebody would have come by her house to complete the transaction because there would be no state to prosecute anyone for it.

        1. “She’s offering to provide some semblance of a home to an infant whose parents obviously don’t want it! BURN HER!”

      2. This. See, it’s legal for an adoption agency to charge $20,000-$30,000 to match adoptive parents with an pregnant woman who doesn’t want her child, and for the agency to pay the pregnant woman’s medical costs as part of the transaction, but if you take out the state approved middleman, it’s human trafficking.

        And if the state does it directly, it’s legal for the state to take children away from parents on a weak claim of neglect to give to adoptive parents.

    2. Hahahaahaa! That’s funny. I’m surprised that the cops aren’t on Craigslist offering free babies just to entrap people. It’s all about numbers, gotta pad those numbers.

      Numbers==MOAR BIGGER BUDGET

    3. Given that she seems to think of a baby as a tool to teach responsibility, like a pet, I’m not sure getting her closer to a legal adoption is a sane approach either.

      1. If she hasn’t lost interest by the time she jumps through all the red tape, she’ll bail on the idea when she gets an inkling of how damn much it can cost to adopt. And not to fall back on socioeconomic/regional stereotypes, but her daughter will probably have birthed a couple of kids by then.

  14. Should have asked what the going rates for various races. Could have raised more ire.

    “You was adopted! Worst fi’ty bucks I ever spent. Could’ve got me a matching pair of Chinese babies for ten.”

  15. If I knew you could sell babies I wouldn’t have gotten my wife spayed.

    1. You can actually sell them to the state and you even get the keep them! Just refuse to work, have lots of babies, go to local welfare office.

      1. “Let’s all recognize that this is a little awkward situation between friends at the welfare store and let’s go our separate ways, okay?”

  16. “You have to feed a nice baby like that EVERY single day!”

    1. Let’s see, what facts have we so far. Babies are loud, gross, and you have to feed them. I’m still not seeing an upside here…

  17. What the fuck?

    1. My little sister was born in Amman and my dad got a few offers for her. They wouldn’t ask “how much” though. They’d make an offer to begin a bartering process, 100 camels or whatever.

      1. That is fair. How many camels did you get?

        1. At the time I thought it was hilarious, but now I wonder if they neglected to tell me about how much I was going for. Or maybe no one wanted my scrawny ass. I’m not sure which is worse.

      2. Amman? Were your parents missionaries?

        1. Yes for a few years

  18. The Mafia government doesn’t like competition, especially not from Craigslist.

  19. Hasn’t Sunwoo ever heard of the exercise where you make the kid carry around an egg for a week? She just went straight to the real thing?

    Good grief.

  20. I can’t believe you are all missing the point:

    That kid in the box? The one abandoned by his parents? That’s the functional equivalent of an orphan. Geez. I’m surprised you aren’t all putting “Insert Baby Here” boxes on your front porches.

    1. Who says we aren’t?

      *leaves to check orphan depository*

      1. “I’m sorry, ma’am, but the cut-off age is six months, and this child looks like he’s 14.”

        1. “And, no, don’t try and fit him into the slot piece by piece.”

      2. Yeah, that’s what’s so infuriating about this situation – it hits too close to home.

    2. Eyes widen in shocked realization of RC’s point…..monocle pops loose from eye

  21. I have one slightly used Grandson for sale. Just turned 2. Done slobbering. No potty trained, yet. No major dents or dings. Hardware and software seem to be up to speed. However, since he is blonde hair, and blue eyes (and already using them on the ladies), I demand a substantial premium. So, how about $1,000.00, a couple ounces of weed, and a date with any female Mexican porn star?

  22. How DARE someone offer to take care of an unwanted baby without a license?

  23. Presumably the motiv’n for the Georgia law was some notorious adoption scam or scams, and it was never intended to be used against persons who sincerely wanted to adopt. So the statute is misused, DHS is misused?is anything right with this?

  24. So Superman is an illegal alien in more ways than one.

  25. Q: How do you know trafficking is growing if nobody knows how common it is?

    A: Simple, we’re talking about it today and we weren’t talking about it yesterday. Awareness of the problem has shot WAY UP. Therefore, the problem must be growing.

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