The answer is Yes, and No, it really depends on your definition of mail order brides.
The historical roots of the mail-order bride industry that emerged in the 1800s in the American frontier: European American men found financial success in the migration West, but the one thing that was missing was the company of a wife. 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 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. Many women wanted to escape their present way of living, gain financial security and see what life on the frontier could offer them. Most of these women were single, but some were widows, divorcees or runaways.
During most of the 20 century, the mail order bride continued with the main method of women putting themselves in catalogs. Then men would view the women's profile, then for a fee order the women address. These became the main order bride companies business method in the 20 the century, with the fall of the Soviet union and cheap airfares, these companies spread from Asian to Eastern Europe, mainly now the Ukraine
Today most women do not leave their countries to escape poverty but to seek a man they believe will be a good husband and provider, that is family orientated and that looks at women with more respect than in many countries around the world.
With the advent of the intent, the mail order bride industry boomed into a billion dollar industry, Now with a few pictures and website, anyone could be in the mail order bride business. With hundreds of ma and pop shops opening over the last two decade, Most who were clients of one of the three original mail order bride companies, A Foreign Affair (AFA), Anastasia and EC, The owner of ForeignLadies.com met his wife while working on a tour from loveme.com, A Foreign affair still today in the largest in the industry, each week they offer tours to one of a dozen countries China to Peru and everywhere in between. The industry grew so fast in 1998, Senator Cantwell of Washington state introduces legislation to regulate the mail order bride industry. and a new law Called: "International Marriage Brokers Act" or IMBRA was born. With stiff regulations, many companies like Anastasia moved from Bride business to Fantasy Chat.
Although the industry strongly objects to the term mail order brides, saying there is no difference if man in New York courting a woman from California through match.com, then courting a woman from Russia. Critics like the Terra Justice Center has a different out look, saying these men take advantage of women oversea. But studies have contradicted these statement and show abuse is actually lower in these marriages. See "International Marriages - A Report to Congress"
So why do thousands of women join these site: Elena Kosalova of the Ukraine says, "Men here are not serious about family, they expect women to stay home while they go out each night with their friends and drink. I want a man who s serious, mature and who wants to be with his wife and family. I have met Americans in the past and they seem more reliable and mature." Elena rejects the idea she is a "Mail Order Bride"
Why do men seek a mail order bride: James Goodwin, 43 of South Carolina says, " I meet women here all the time, but I just can not find the values I am looking for.. I have dated here for more than 20 years, After three days in Kiev, I was shock at how many beautiful women I met that I would consider marrying, now I am just trying to reduce my options and pick the right one. It truly is the fastest way to find a beautiful sincere women.
So what is the cost, the cost can range greatly from site to site and from type of service, AFA or loveme.com offers everything from letter writing, tours and executive services for the rich and famous. As little as $12 to as much as $25,000. The owner John Adams say's the best way is just go over and meet then women, avoid letters and never waste money on expensive chat. You can meet up to 1000 beautiful women in just 10 days, it will be the greatest vacation of your life. Joe Nail of ForeignLadies.com, has stayed with the traditional Letter Writing, Each letter is $7.50 and but say they do plan on offer some limited chat option.
Many sites like,foreignwomen.com, PhilippineSinges.com, and UkraineSsingles.com, that offer simple unlimited membership for $29 per month. These type of site also target pacific regions, like Asia, Latin America or Eastern Europe.
There is also a site for mail order grooms; SingleMenOnline.com, that caters to men publishing their photos in hopes to meet an American Bride.
James Dunn, who is a ghost writer for review sites says "You get what you pay for. Membership sites to do not screen the members at all. so you never know who you really are writing, The big boys require the women to apply in person in one of their local offices. The companies that offer group tours will introduce you to hundreds of beautiful women, for the cost of $1000 to $3000 depending on location, about the same you would pay for any vacation. Several companies also do individual tours these can range from $750 to $1500, But only arrange one to one introductions, Always make sure they are biased in the USA or EU, Most of the complaints come from small agencies that are desperate and need to make as much as they can from you. Just a note, if the company is based in an a foreign country you will have no recourse if they do not follow through.
So do mail order brides exist, If you belive a if a woman is a mail order bride if she lives in another county then Yes, But if you believe it just another dating option like any on-line dating site, matchmaker or dating service, than No. . It really seems like a doubled standard in the world, If a women meets a man in Italy or France, then oh that is so romantic, but if a man meets a women in Philippines, than ....