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Buy My Baby

Selling your fourteen-month-old for fun and profit.
 
 
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Just the other day, I was naive enough to worry about blatant advertising for make-up in young adult novels, but that was before a friend told me about BuyJake.com. For ten thousand dollars, you can get your company's name tattoed on the toddler's forehead for a month. For a year, the cost is a hundred thousand dollars. Questions? Talk to his publicist.

The woman who made $4,000 by advertising space on her belly on Ebay is one thing. It's cringe-inducing, but it's her body and if she want to sell it I suppose she can. In fact, it's she's become part of a trend with a number of bellies available on Ebay. A woman in New Zealand is even starting a business called Bump It Up that specifically connects advertisers with pregnant women who need money and would be willing to sell their belly space.

But selling your children's bodies, even your children's forehead, is another thing altogether. Even if there's still quite a bit of debate about when personhood begins, almost everyone agrees that once a baby is out and toddling around it is most definitely it's own person. A person with a rapidly growing brain who doesn't need the words "Golden Casino" tattoed on his forehead, even if it's only temporary.

The money for all this advertising goes into a savings account for Jake for when he's bigger. In fact, as the parents write, via Jake's voice, on his "blog": "My Mom does not need and is not going to use a dime of my money." But the problem with it isn't the money involved, it's the impmrinting to that young child that everything, even you, are for sale.

Rachel Neumann is Rights & Liberties Editor at AlterNet.