I nearly jumped out of my seat when I saw the subject line and thought this was the Chinese spammers posting an advert!
this practice is commonplace throughout SE Asia, its only hit the Western media because of the e-bay connection. It happens covertly in all the SE Asian countries including “more civilised” ones like Singapore and Malaysia, but is not usually done over the highly monitored internet connections!
The babies are usually sold at border villages by poorer families to richer couples who cannot have children due to medical reasons.
Although there are obvious ethical dilemmas the prices are fairly high and they are not sold to be eaten or to be used as slaves, its rather like buying a pedigree pet, and the kids are brought up as the purchasing couples own children.
Its a combination of the western concept of adoption and a free market ethos, coupled with the fact that many women would rather find a new home for a live baby than have an abortion, even if it involves bringing a baby to full term and giving it away at birth.
As abhorrent as this practice may seem to those in the West, there is no public healthcare, social services or benefits system in many of these areas, and abortions aren’t free when there is no health service! realistically if it didn’t happen the kids would be left to starve, or worse still the women would be at the mercy of dodgy back street clinics and “home remedies” to procure abortions – nasty stuff indeed.
Even the British took part in it when they ran Hong Kong – in the 1950s Jackie Chan was very nearly sold to the British for HK$20 (this is mentioned in his biography) as his parents could not afford to keep him. I would expect the kids were brought up in “orphanages” and local equivalents of the traditional British prep and public school, after which they would become soldiers or policemen. (this is how colonialism was made more palatable to the natives, by letting them see “their own kind in unform”). In the end his parents handed him over to a stage / martial arts school which is where he learnt his skills….