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Who wants to win a baby?

By Celia Rivenbark

A new game show in Pakistan makes Drew Carey’s “Price is Right” living room furniture showcase look downright trifling. The “Wheel’s” Pat Sajak’s merry bequeathing of an all-expense-paid trip to Acapulco to yet another systems analyst from Rochester even loses some of its luster.

Why? Because if you win the game show “Aman Ramazan” in Pakistan, answering all the questions correctly and beating a panel of opponents, you win … a baby. Yes, a real, live human baby. To take home and raise forever. (Buzzkill warning: The babies were all abandoned in the streets but were rescued before their health suffered.)

Now not every winner gets a baby, of course. Like “The Price is Right” you can start with a microwave, a motorcycle or a new refrigerator and trade up for a baby.

Presumably, you can settle for a lesser-tier prize if you don’t actually want to win a baby. Which could be great news for the young single guy who competes on the show. (“No, no, the baby is cute and everything but, well, I’m going to keep the microwave. Why? I defrost a lot. Don’t judge me.”)

Recent winner Suriya Bilquees, who walked off the set with a 2-week-old baby girl after answering a series of questions about the Quran correctly, said she had no idea when she signed up for the show that she’d be taking home a human but was overjoyed at her winnings.

“We already have a car, so this was super nice. Besides, we’ve been to Puerta Vallarta,” she said. OK, no, she didn’t.

The show has captured huge numbers of viewers, breaking previous ratings records and probably giving reality show mogul Simon Cowell an idea for yet another blockbuster audience participation show. Imagine how much more interesting it would be to watch the creepy but fascinating “Toddlers & Tiaras” if at the end, instead of winning that stupid Dollar Tree-looking “Grand Supreme” trophy, the kid won a whole new family. Preferably one that would never make her get a spray tan during snack break at day care.

This could work.

Awarding human beings as game show prizes could be just the start.

Sure, it starts with big, splashy TV shows with big budgets, but with time, things could change. One day you’re standing in a convenience store in your pajama pants drinking a Sun Drop and checking a scratch-off and, what’s this? You have three screaming baby faces going across AND diagonal. Step up to the clerk and claim your baby!

Please. Because he’s been kinda whiny all morning.

If all of this leaves a bad taste in your mouth, it’s understandable.

Defenders of the show point out that the couples are vetted in secret so they don’t give babies to creepy people. And they like to point out the obvious: If your life started in a garbage can, getting to live with a nice couple who genuinely wants a baby isn’t all that terrible.

They don’t think.

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