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What is a Mail-Order Bride?

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  • Written By: Kathy Hawkins
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2016
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A "mail-order bride" is a term often used to refer to a woman who joins a service that is designed to set her up with a man from another, generally more developed, country. The "mail-order" title refers to the fact that such women used to publish their personal details in catalogs that foreign men could look at. Today, however, a typical "mail-order bride" would go through an online matchmaking service.

Many mail-order brides come from countries such as Russia, the Philippines, and the Ukraine. These countries are fairly poor, and many women long for a better life in a more economically developed country, such as the United States, Canada, or Australia. The men who are interested in such a bride are often relatively wealthy men who have been divorced, or have not had success with women in the past. In many cases, they decide to pursue a woman from a less developed country because they believe that such women will be submissive to them, as opposed to the more independent women from their home countries. They also frequently choose brides that are significantly younger, often by as much as 20 or 30 years.

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Though in the past, a mail-order bride may have gone to marry a man that she had never met before, today, there is typically a courtship process involved. Normally, a man who is interested in finding this type of bride will buy a membership with one or more agencies that will allow him to meet and communicate with foreign women. He will then travel to the country where the agency is based, and meet with many of the women there. He can go on private dates with the women that he is interested in, and can even propose marriage. Women may be selective, and do not have to marry the first man who asks; however, many do, simply because they want to leave their homeland.

Problems with mail order marriages have brought close scrutiny to the mail-order bride movement in the United States, and a law signed into action in 2006 called the "International Marriage Broker Regulation Act" imposes strict enforcements on a man who pursues a mail-order bride. For example, he must disclose his criminal and marital background, he will be checked for sex offenses, and the woman must agree to communicate with each specific man who wishes to contact her.

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anon986530
Post 5

"Mail-order brides from Russia may also be seeking husbands in the US because they have been paid to do so by their government."

No we are not! Women like me just want to meet a man and create a family, I mean, I don't want to bring my kind up in a poor house, I want them to live happily, travel a little, be properly educated. And after all, if my beauty and intelligence are far beyond my conditions, what do I do? Do you think they have to be oppressed and perish in some poor village or in the suburbs of Rostov?

anon329330
Post 4

If you use the term mail order bride, you probably have no idea about what it is. My wife lived in the Philippines and we met via the Internet so I know plenty about the process. I know another guy who married a woman from Russia. The website I used was no different than a domestic one and lacked the phony come on profiles to lure subscribers.

"The men who are interested in a mail-order bride are often relatively wealthy men..." You don't have to be wealthy and there are men who a bitter after a divorce. I had success with women but not enough to marry. Money is an issue in marriage in the U.S., and men

who make less than their mates fare far worse. That is a fact. The divorce rates in international marriages are lower than domestic marriages.

About mail-order brides being murdered by their husbands, unfortunately this happens in domestic marriages as well, but the IMBRA Act does screen out guys with sex offenses. International marriages have little to do with sex trafficking, as no one can marry more than twice from abroad. Russian women are spies? Not likely as they can get a visa without marrying an American and the last hot Russian spy caught was single and able to travel around freely.

arod2b42
Post 3

@BigBloom

A lot of times the problem is with the groom as well. He may want to get an easy marriage by browsing through mail-order brides and selecting a woman he finds attractive. This is borderline exploitation by the rich and powerful. America has a position in the world which allows for many Americans and other rich Westerners to exploit the sex trafficking industry of the third world, and even fuel the drug and human trafficking cartels. This is a very sad testament to the state of the world.

Armas1313
Post 2

I have a friend who met a beautiful girl from abroad. They fell in love and got married. Shortly after their honeymoon, she ran away on him. The poor man was heartbroken, and realized that his bride had married him simply to get into the country. Devastating examples like these abound.

BigBloom
Post 1

Mail-order brides from Russia may also be seeking husbands in the US because they have been paid to do so by their government. These women are spies, and are seeking to penetrate the deepest echelons of American society. They seem legitimate for as long as they can, and sometimes go their whole lives without being detected.

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