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There are at least two historical roots of the mail-order bride industry that emerged in the 1800s in the American frontier: Asian workers in the frontier regions (although Asian workers were scattered throughout the world), and American men who had headed west across the United States to work out on the frontier.
European American men found financial success in the migration West, but the one thing that was missing was the company of a wife.
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, divorcées or runaways.
One of the biggest international dating sites, based on market share, is Anastasia Date.
International marriage agencies are frequently referred to as "mail-order bride" agencies.
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.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union large numbers of eastern European women have advertised themselves in such a way, primarily from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova.
Imbalances between the number of available women and the number of men desiring partners created a demand for immigrant women.