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Must Read! Beware of the “Fake Pregnancy” Scam

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Pregnancy ScamIn Nigerian society and culture, pregnancy and babies are such a big deal! So many young couples featured on BellaNaija have revealed the intense pressure and scrutiny they face after getting married and in some cases, women are encouraged to get pregnant before “he puts a ring on it” in order to prove their fertility.

This situation puts immense pressure on couples especially women.

Many turn to prayers, fertility treatment, adoption and other options but there is a dark side.

The pressure has created a dark underbelly – illegal adoptions involving the purchasing of babies via “Baby Factories“.

Click Here and Here for 2 related news stories on baby factories.

Others turn to false prophets who in many cases, sexually abuse women and also extort money.

Another dark practice gaining traction is the “Fake Pregnancy Scam“. Read these 3 stories and share your thoughts!

Note that all the examples below feature “fake pregnancy scams” which took place in Nigeria and then were revealed in the UK due to the nature of their social welfare system. There are reportedly hundreds of similar cases in Nigeria which go undetected. In addition to the actual “fake pregnancy”, the other side is the source of the babies. These babies are either stolen or bought from baby factories.

Read real life cases below.

Case 1 – Court ruling in 2012
After trying to have a baby unsuccessfully for several years, in 2010, the couple travelled to Nigeria where the woman received fertility treatment at a private clinic.

She was given medication after the procedure and experienced pregnancy symptoms including a swollen stomach.

She returned to the clinic months later she was sedated. When she regained consciousness she was handed a baby and told she had given birth.

On her return to London, a GP raised concerns. The child was taken into care and a DNA test proved the child was not related to the couple.

After a thorough investigation, it was found that the couple were victims of “an appalling scam” and a judge ruled they could keep the child. The presiding judge Mr Justice Coleridge added the case was “extraordinary, bizarre and worrying”.

Source – BBC

Case 2 – Court ruling in 2014
This is perhaps the most detailed case to date!

For ten years, the couple tried surgery, laser treatment and IVF to start a family – but to no avail.
Then in 2010 the husband ran into a university friend who told him of a couple who had had twins after ‘some herbal treatment’ in Nigeria.
The desperate couple decided to travel to Nigeria, where they were prescribed a course of herbal remedies by a man calling himself Dr Cletus Okolo.

After taking the herbs and returning to Britain, the woman’s face, arms and abdomen swelled as if she was pregnant. Even a ‘kindly and well-meaning’ local GP accepted she was seven months’ pregnant, and signed off a maternity certificate.
The couple then returned to Nigeria for further treatment.

At a clinic near Lagos, they handed over £4,500 and the woman was given a brown liquid to drink before entering what she thought was a delivery room.
The man waited in the corridor outside and, after few minutes, he heard a baby cry. He entered the room to find the baby girl – referred to in court only as ‘A’ – lying on the bed beside his groggy wife.
He was duped into believing he had seen the umbilical cord cut and was given a placenta in a plastic bag. After pocketing the couple’s money, Dr Okolo wrote: ‘Treatment successful, patient delivered of a baby girl. All fees paid. God’s doing’, which was the sole document that accompanied the birth.
After returning home to the UK they were arrested and A was taken into police protection.
To the couple’s ‘considerable dismay and shock’, DNA tests proved that the girl was not their child.

Having waited so long for a baby, the couple simply could not accept the truth, the court heard. Far from seeing themselves as victims, they insisted that ‘the combination of spiritual and herbal treatments was so powerful as to be able to change DNA’.

The judge, Justice Mrs Hogg said ‘Despite their education and intelligence, they are struggling with the result of the DNA test. Both of them say they still believe that A is their natural child.
‘In the end, having considered all the evidence… I am driven to conclude that in some way they allowed themselves to be duped by fraudsters.
‘They so much wanted a baby… they allowed themselves to fall under the spell of the herbalists, believing what was said to the mother and acting faithfully upon the instructions given to them.
‘Contrary to the submissions of the local authority and guardian I do not find that the parents were wilfully and knowingly involved with or parties to a wrongful removal of A from her mother, or that they cynically “bought” a baby.’

Source – UK Daily Mail

Case 3 – Court ruling in 2014
The woman, of dual British and Nigerian nationality, travelled from London to Nigeria after struggling to conceive naturally. In Nigeria, she saw a “doctor” who performed “herbal fertility treatment”

Despite being told by a British GP that she was not carrying a child, the woman returned to Nigeria where, following ‘a process which resembled a birth’, she was presented with the child.

In 2012 the pair returned to the UK where, despite her efforts, the boy’s health suffered due to severe disabilities.
Visits to health services raised concerns over how the woman and the child were related, and the boy was entrusted to the care of foster parents.

‘Her state of mind at that point was that she continued to hope against hope that it might just be the case that she was the baby’s mother.
‘She closed her eyes to all of the pointers in the other direction,’ Lady Justice Black said.

Within months the baby was taken into social care, with a judge ordering earlier this year the boy be permanently looked after by the state.
The woman, who thought she was his biological mother despite DNA tests revealing otherwise, fought the decision, but has lost an appeal at the High Court.
A judge ruled the woman should not have any part in the child’s upbringing despite ‘hoping against hope’ he was her son.

Source – UK Daily Mail

In you are facing infertility, you are not alone! Please see a licensed medical professional. There are so many options including IVF, Surrogacy, Adoption, IUI etc..

While this might seem incredulous, the desperation of wanting to have a child often leads people unto a path that defies logic and common sense.

BellaNaijarians, let us know your thoughts on this dangerous and heartbreaking scam!

Photo Credit: © Paulmz | Dreamstime.com

36 Comments

  1. Idomagirl

    December 5, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    WOW!!!!

  2. Idomagirl

    December 5, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    So during these ‘pregnancies’ they didn’t undergo any ultrasound scans? What about symptoms like a baby kicking? I’m just confused.

    1
  3. Yea

    December 5, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Miracle babies is a trend now especially in places like Portharcourt and Yenagoa. Women will be made to drink some concoctions and look bloated like a pregnant woman. Then teenage girls will be kept in a house till they have the baby and the baby will be handed over to the supposed pregnant woman. I learnt they pay 1M for boys and 750K for girls and 2M for twins. Imagine.

  4. bruno

    December 5, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    nigerian pastors. this is their area of expertise. they prey on couples who are longing and desperate for children.

    these pastors (I wont mention names but you the people im talking about, oyedepo, adeboye, tb joshua, pastor chris (both jerry curl and non jerry curl) fill their memebers head with empty peomises. when the desperate couple pray and pray and still nothing happens they start to tell them their faith is not strong or that their grand mother in the village is a witch and she is the cause.

    if ur a woman and u cant have kids what is the shame there. sandra bullock, charlize theron etc adopted kids even nicole richie was adopted by lionel richie. theres no shame. there are different ways of making a family. instead of going to buy babies from baby factories. go to the orphanages and do it the legal way. there are many children in nigerian orphanages who need homes and parents. I would have loved to push my gay agenda right now about how gay couples can reduce the number of orphans in nigeria but I wont go there. loooool

    1
    • Olu

      December 5, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      “….fill their members head with empty promises. when the desperate couple pray and pray and still nothing happens they start to tell them their faith is not strong…”

      PREACH!!!!!!! love for for this Bruno. And yes..I’m a guy!

      1
    • Nkay

      December 5, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      Bruno strikes again. #said it all #end of discussion

    • Tosin

      December 5, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      did you just give people surnames jerry curl and not-jerrycurl? watch yourself o. 😀 dying.

    • fineola

      December 5, 2014 at 6:32 pm

      Bruno of life. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • girl

      December 5, 2014 at 7:30 pm

      (both jerry curl and non jerry curl) this killed me …. I’m still laughing, can’t believe I’ve gone from hating you to almost liking you… before you tell me you didn’t beg me to like you -I DONT CURRRR!! lol

    • ATL's finest

      December 5, 2014 at 11:40 pm

      Lmao!!! Not the curls Chaiii

  5. TANTRA

    December 5, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    I know a lady that willingly tried to force it down our throats that she was pregnant. Pregnancy is not something that you are told. You know it when you see it. It is different from pot belly. Anyway, my lady didn’t coordinate herself very well. She gave two different hospitals where she put to bed. When “Thomases” wanted to visit her, she told them that she was home already (within 20hrs). The following day, it was discovered by those who visited her that her baby’s navel has healed completely. The baby didn’t look like a new born. Throughout the visit, she never breastfed. Subsequently, nobody saw or has seen her breastfeeding.
    If after ten years of marriage, you couldn’t have a baby, why not do the honorable by adopting one? This lady was mocked by those she felt she deceived. She ended up deceiving herself.

    On the subject matter, every truly pregnant woman knows it. Nobody can deceive you. As long as you are not being kidnapped by the fake doctor, you can always go to several hospitals to double/triple check.

  6. ada nnewi

    December 5, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    This is sad, I don’t event want to think of the complications this women might have later on…

  7. Mz Socially Awkward...

    December 5, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    That last story… My heart aches at the thought of that poor little boy in state care. 🙁

    Imagine the supreme irony of it as well – the woman in question probably eschewed adopting a child, preferring instead to have one herself by natural delivery. And at the end the child who was “delivered” has been placed in foster care.

    God only knows the pain felt by people trying to conceive and birth their own children but the end shouldn’t be pursued at all costs. As someone’s already suggested above, please look at other legal options such as adoption or even surrogacy to save yourselves untold heartbreak.

  8. Nuna

    December 5, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    I’m compelled to ask if they didnt undergo ultrasound scans and blood tests? I find it very appalling that in this day and age, people are so ill informed. Smh

  9. t'osh

    December 5, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    just WOW!!!! are u for real? swollen arms and stomach taken for pregnancy? no ultrasound? no urine test? Jesu!!!!

  10. benny

    December 5, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Surrogacy ooooooooooooo… it is not a sin. Abeg. Nigerians why so advanced yet so backwards?

  11. omoibo

    December 5, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Like my dear granny would say, wonders shall never end…..The things that take place in Nigeria never ceases to amaze me, the fuckery that takes place there knows no boundaries. The level of ignorance displayed by my people is mind baffling, it is displayed by both the educated and uneducated and this is the primary reason the you know who continue to exploit the masses in the name of religion.
    My people perish due to lack of vision, Nigerians make una shine eye o because this is our level of mumugitis is becoming, unbecoming

  12. deb

    December 5, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    I have suggested times without number, surrogacy should be legalised and the government monitoring it closely

  13. Nkay

    December 5, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    WELCOME TO NIGERIA!
    The land of no natural death–meaning, if someone dies, they were killed by a “witch’ or ‘wizard’. Apparently, no one dies of strokes, heart failure or even natural causes. “dia must be somtin behind it.
    Want to get a degree? No problem — be prepared to either buy through cash or sexual favours. Oh and be prepared to drive okada or worse because guess what?? Your degree won’t get you anywhere. nojobsforgraduates.com
    Want to get a passport? No problem–just grease my palm, right here. Service with a smile.
    Want to be a politician? No problem–dont bother submitting your name for nominations–get your area boys ready, get your money straight because you will need it to pay your godfather
    to “give” you the position of governor, senator, etc.
    Want to have a baby? Can’t get pregnant? No problem–head down to your local herbalist for some concoction and get your cash ready. For a neat sum of 1M, you too can have that all-important son that will keep your papa’s lineage going. Make sure you do this after going to all the fly-by-night pastors who will fleece you for whatever they can get in the name of God.

    Enjoy your stay!

    Nigeria…….suspending logic, due process and the rule of law since 1960. #drops mic

    1
  14. bush baby

    December 5, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    All these thing out of desperation I pray no one gets into a situation where they need to get pregnant it is actually frustrating. My baby has a hole in the heart how do I get to Bn crew to help me publish it. Please this is urgent

    • BellaNaija.com

      December 5, 2014 at 5:33 pm

      Please email features (at) bellanaija.com

  15. olayemi

    December 5, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    It’s either you get pregnant or you don’t. What’s all these lies of being tricked into pregnancy and childbirth? Ask people who have gotten pregnant and had children, no one delivers a baby without a scar to show for it. Natural or caesarean. Even if there’s no tear, there’s a degree of pain and bleeding afterwards. We are not fools. They should all go and sit down abeg. No one tricked them, they were part of the silly plot.

  16. Bush baby

    December 5, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Thanks bn. It is those who are bold that narrates their ordeal in some cases these dubious pastor sleeps with the women without their husbands knowledge .

  17. bellafan

    December 5, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    I know someone who went for a scan somewhere. The radiologist doing the scan had the screen turned away from the mother. She insisted on seeing the images, Doctor said the angle at which she’s lying down would make the screen dark and she wouldn’t see anything.
    She kept insisting and eventually stood up mid-scan, low and behold ……. the screen was blank. The machine wasn’t even plugged in.
    So yes, it’s possible to be oblivious especially if these miracle doctors scan/do blood tests themselves on the mother or send you to a diagnostic centre that in on the whole plan.

  18. Oaks

    December 5, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    There’s a top politician in CRS state who had 3 set of twins within 3 years in PH like this,the doctor can’t be anywhere else but PH.God help us and grant all those seeking for the fruit of the womb

  19. Ms Nameless

    December 5, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    I truly want to be objective, but I find it difficult to believe in the innocence of these women. Women, yes, because sometimes the men are left ignorant of the devices of these women.
    Permit me to cite two examples; a lady told her husband she was pregnant and in order to avoid a miscarriage, he mustn’t touch her or even see her nakedness. He complied to the extent that he didn’t even enter the labor room. Wife was delivered of a set of twins and on the day of the naming ceremony, the husband’s mother got knocked down by a car right in front of the house. With her death came whispers and accusations of deceit. In summary, wife was arrested for stealing a set of twins which were not in fact twins but merely two babies (the boy died whilst wife was in custody and the girl was handed over to protective custody). The wife had drank some concoctions which made her look pregnant and was wearing a pillow all the while. Her Supervisor (my mother) at the office even got arrested for signing off on her maternity leave application( which she did in good faith). Wife’s defence and apology; ‘it was the devil that pushed me to do it’

  20. Tim Last

    December 5, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    What it shows is that many Nigerians are uneducated and ignorant. I cant but help laugh at their stupidity! How embarrassing!

  21. Photog

    December 5, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    wait o! These people left UK with all the technology and advancement to come and drink concoction in Nigeria? That’s whack.

  22. Ms Nameless

    December 5, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Second example; Wife waits a couple of years, no child. She then goes to a fertility church and gets prayed for. She conceives and bares a son who has serious skin issues. They go abroad for treatment and the boy’s skin clears up without treatment. They have another boy the next year and he is perfectly healthy. Wife tells female friend who is also childless, childless friend tells another friend and they both headed to the fertility church and were prayed for. Their bodies started changing and exhibiting pregnancy symptoms. 7 months down the lane, their fertility church mama dies. 9 months go by, 10, 11, 1 year and both women are still pregnant. Their husbands and family decide to forcefully take them to hospital and both women were operated upon at different hospitals and one gave birth to a tuber of yam and another a tortoise. True stories. One of the women decided to adopt a baby girl through the proper channel, the girl is 14 years now and is a stunning beauty!

    • idomagirl

      December 5, 2014 at 9:26 pm

      o_O

    • chi-e-z

      December 5, 2014 at 9:35 pm

      Lol Tuba of yams and tortoise….I was with you till that. Kai naija people’s stupidity and superstitious beliefs fit tire person. Wow why can’t we believe in oh I don’t know 3d ultrasounds, adoption, good healthcare next you’ll be telling me human being can turn into cat. Wonders shall never end. Smh

      1
    • Dr. N

      December 6, 2014 at 8:05 am

      “Fertility church?

  23. Aibee

    December 6, 2014 at 7:33 am

    I find it very difficult to believe that these women weren’t in on the scan. They got pregnant in Naija and returned to the UK to continue the pregnancy before returning to Naija for the delivery. While in the UK, they didn’t get any ante natal care? Ultrasound scans, amniocentesis which is available on request, blood tests to test for hormones etc? Even if they hood winked them here, were their UK doctors also hoodwinked? Abeg leave story.

    And they went through labour and got handed a baby, no bleeding afterwards? No tears, no epidurals, no scars. Just handed a baby like having a baby is an outpatient procedure. And they got back home and didn’t have to breastfeed? Even if all 3 women didn’t breastfeed out of choice, the milk would be there and would need to be expressed. #

    I think these couples or at least the women were in on the scam.

  24. KEMI

    December 6, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    Exactly what I was wondering.

  25. Nd

    September 8, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    The one happening in nigeria here, imo state, the woman will insect some drug into your viginia and give 3drugs to give to your husband to take for 3days each day he took the drug you most sleep with his wife for 3days after that you go back to the woman that insect the drug, and after checking on you, she will tell you that it has click and also tell you congratulations. When is 7months or more you go to scan for like 2time nothing in their, and go for blood test and urine test nothing to show, and she will tell you that you should not go to any hospital, that you must deliver in my maternity, and she will use her own merchine to check on you and tells you that the baby is their, and send you to a particular place for you t check if the is breating , and the doctor their will tell you that the baby is breating. And also tells that scan does not see this pregnancy, pls i what to ask is any mechine that detect babies apart from scan merchines. later she will tell you the baby is not in the womb that is outside the womb and is not ectopic pregnancy, pls i what to ask is their any other place baby stays apart from the womb , because am confuse. Pls reply

    • Cl

      November 11, 2018 at 11:44 pm

      Mmmh I was almost tricked into same baby scam until my husband decide to Google online.and that was how we came across so many scam stories. We had to stop taking the concoctions. Even at the moment my sister inlaw who is currently pregnant through this same means claims She feel something moving in her womb and she so sure she s pregnant.so the family decide that after delivery of the baby they Wll go for DNA text. I blv this baby scam thing is real and people are falling really hard for it. May God help us

      1

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