The term mail order bride is a label applied to a woman who publishes her intent to marry someone from another, usually more developed country. Although, the label is widely used, the label of mail order bride has derogatory connotations and it may be offensive. Historically, mail order brides were women who listed themselves in catalogs and were selected by men for marriage, often with little or no communication between them prior to their first meeting. Sometimes the men and women involved were citizens from different countries such as women from European countries who moved to the United States during both the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, most of the women referred to as mail order brides list themselves on the internet and communicate regularly with their future husband prior to marriage.
Women labeled as mail order brides come from dozens of developing countries such as Ukraine, Russia, Columbia, and the Philippines; men who list themselves in such publications as mail order husbands or mail order grooms. A mail order groom is less common than a mail order bride and generally implies a man who seeks a mail order bride. A small percentage of mail order husbands have, however, has intentions similar to mail order brides who are to marry and move to a more favorable environment for marriage.
There are immigration issues in different countries regarding mail order brides. Until recently, Canada’s immigration policy regarding mail order brides used the “family class” to refer to spouses and dependants and “fiancé” or fiancée for those people intending to marry with only limited recognition of opposite sex “common law” relationships; same sex partners were processed as independent immigrants or under a discretionary provision for “humane” and “compassionate” considerations.
Although women might believe that being a mail order bride sounds romantic and interesting, it may be. However, mail order brides and potential mail order brides better take care. This is because not all stories about mail order brides end with happily ever after. Some mail order bride stories end with murder. In September, 2002, 26 year old Ukrainian engineer and mail order bride Alla Barney bled to death on the floor of her car after her American husband Lester Barney who was 58 slashed her throat in front of their four year old son Daniel. Therefore, marrying a man as a mail order bride can be murder and mayhem instead of a better life.