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A feature on ABC's Nightline covered an AFA meetup in Odessa, Ukraine and found that while many of the women who attended the meetup were genuinely interested in finding an ideal match with an American man, others seemed to be taking advantage of the men by attempting to convince them to buy expensive gifts.In the segment, owner John Adams does not dispute the fact that some men may fall victim to scamming, though he notes that such instances are rare.
The term "mail-order bride" is both criticized by owners (and customers) of international marriage agencies and used by them as an easily recognizable term.In return, the women would write to the men and send them photographs of themselves.Courtship was conducted by letter, until a woman agreed to marry a man she had never met.A BBC reporter also attended a meetup in Ukraine and interviewed several attendees, finding that many of the men attended because they were frustrated about the prospects of finding an ideal match in the US, while many women attended in search of a partner who was responsible and could provide them with a better life.A 2011 The Today Show segment featured AFA and one of its founders in light of the mail-order bride industry's success after the 2008 recession.Very few women lived there at this time, so it was hard for these men to settle down and start a family.
They attempted to attract women living back East; the men wrote letters to churches and published personal advertisements in magazines and newspapers.
In the twentieth century, the trend was primarily towards women living in developing countries seeking men in more developed nations.
In the twenty-first century, the trend is now based primarily on internet-based meeting places which do not per se qualify as mail-order bride services.
However, many consider the term "mail-order bride" derogatory and feel it demeans foreign women by comparing them to commodities for sale and by falsely implying that (unlike local women), they exercise no judgment over the men they meet and would marry anyone from a relatively wealthy country.
Few agencies still offer introductions and excursions, but pioneering marriage agency A Foreign Affair still conducts these services.
The segment explored some common negative perceptions about the mail-order bride industry, along with concerns that relationships precipitated by websites like AFA might not be completely equal; for instance, the host was concerned that women might be pushed into such relationships due to socioeconomic factors out of their control.