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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

In Odesa, Mom Tries to Sell Her Son for $1,500

Narrator: A grand and a half. That's the price she put on her son. It’s not the first time that the 30-year old mommy dumps her kids. She left her first-born in the maternity hospital. As for her second child, the 4-year-old Maksym, she decided, as she puts it, not to torture him and just sell him.

Mother: Because he [the buyer] told me that he [my son] will go to good people, that he’ll be in rich people’s hands, that he’ll be living out there in America, and so that uh… that I wouldn’t have to suffer with him. He told…he first gave me an advance of 100 dollars and then, today, he gave me these fifteen 100-dollar bills.

Narrator: The woman was caught red-handed during the transaction. Criminal charges are now being brought against her. In the few days that the kid has spent at the shelter, nobody has made inquiries about him. Relatives never called and never came. Among the fifteen kids in his group, he clearly looks lost and depressed.

Reporter: Maksymchyk [diminutive], who brought you here?
Maksym: Mom…police. I want to go home.

Narrator: During the three months that Maksym Malyuk will be spending in the children’s shelter, his mother will most likely have her paternal rights revoked. And the future of the kid depends on whether he will find a real family someday.

Kids, chanting in chorus: G-o-o-d-b-y-e!

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CrossRoads Foundation said...

Thanks for posting this. I will link it to our blog about street children. This is something that I fear is going on in Ukraine more than anyone wants to admit to.

B A said...


But I wonder: aren't children protected by law to not have their identities/faces disclosed publicly in situations where they are victims?

Taras said...

Thank you, Michelle!

This phenomenon has flourished in Ukraine, feeding on our poverty and weak institutions. It’s part of a global phenomenon: Millions of people who want kids can’t have them, and yet millions of others do have kids but don’t want them.

Ukraine needs a social contract whereby ordinary people can provide for their children. Children without parents should go through an adoption process that servers their best interests.

Good to see you again, Bogdano!

Yes, many countries have laws that protect the identity of minors. Ukraine lacks such laws, as well as many other laws and the enforcement of existing laws.

B A said...

Seems it is improving:

Taras said...

This is good news, Bogdano! Laws must be worked out and put to work. And, of course, the economy must improve.