Saturday, June 6, 2009

Mail Order brides industry

Internet makes it easier than ever before for men to shop for wives from exotic foreign locations. While it may seem gender biased to refer to international introduction agencies as "mail-order bride industries," in reality few, if any, agencies market men as husbands and salable commodities for women to purchase.

Though there are no official tallies, an estimated minimum of 4,000 men find brides through the mail-order bride industry each year.

It is estimated that mail-order bride companies make as much as $6,000 to $10,000 per client, with some agencies claiming to serve as many as 15,000 clients per year.

Brides entering the United States currently come from Russia, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Central America. The largest supplier of brides is the Philippines, which exports an estimated 20,000 women to foreign husbands annually.

In the last thirty years over 131,000 Russian women have left their country to follow their partners, with nearly half of that number going to the United States.
In 1997 alone, the United States issued 1,782 visas to individuals from the Philippines intending to marry U.S. citizens.

No statistics tell how many of these couples met via the mail-order bride industry.
While estimates on the numbers of companies that engage in the mail-order bride
industry vary, one source claims that in 1995 up to 500 mail-order bride
companies may have been operating in the United States.

Many companies are operated in the United States by sole proprietors out of their homes, sometimes with the assistance of their "mail-ordered" wives.

The laws of supply and demand, as well as the efficiency of the Internet, have prompted many newcomers to enter the industry each year. The industry is international. Many companies target women and men in nations spanning the globe, though some focus on exporting women only from particular nations. A person who wants to start a mail-order bride company needs only a few contacts with foreign women, a computer, knowledge of the Internet, and, possibly, the money to advertise in a publication that American men are likely to read. Mail-order bride agencies claim that they are not in the business of trafficking women across national boundaries. However, catalog descriptions of the women the companies market do not differ much from a department store's listing of merchandise.