WHAT do you do when you have no money and you need a new iPhone? In China, one couple decided to trade in their newborn.
According to Chinese news site People’s Daily Online, a pair of 19-year-olds became unwilling parents after accidentally conceiving. When the child was 18-days-old, the baby’s father ‘A Duan’ and mother ‘Xiao Mei’ — their names have been changed — used social media to free themselves of their living, breathing burden.
Short of cash, they put the baby up for sale on instant messaging service QQ for 23,000 Yuan, the equivalent of $AU4700, because they wanted to buy a new iPhone and a motorbike.
The baby was reportedly purchased by a Chinese man and is currently living with the man’s sister until police resolve the situation.
The original father was arrested after the “new father” handed himself in to authorities. A Duan was handed a three-year jail term. The baby’s biological mother was tracked down and told her own sob story to police.
“I myself was adopted, and many people in my hometown send their kids to other people to raise them. I really didn’t know it was illegal,” she said, according to London newspaper The Telegraph.
In China, it’s believed thousands of children are stolen and sold online each year. Around the world, it’s less common but it still happens.
In 2013, an Indian man was arrested for selling his grandson on Facebook. Feroz Khan arranged to transaction for less than $AUD1000, according to Huffington Post.
“We acted upon the complaint of the mother, who alleged that her child was stolen from the (hospital),” local police commissioner Ishwar Singh said.
“After investigations, we found the grandfather of the child had struck a deal with a man in Delhi and had roped-in the staff to smuggle the baby out.”
A British woman was guilty of a similar crime when she posted an advertisement on classifieds website Gumtree the day after Christmas, 2013.
Mail Online reports the then 20-year-old woman advertised her four-month-old baby for £150,000 ($AUD286,000) after tiring of “time wasters”.
Police and social services were advised and the woman’s baby — as well as her other child, aged two — were taken into state care.
Her defence? It was a joke.
“I put on Gumtree that I was selling a baby for £150,000,” she wrote.
“I just plucked that number out of thin air and I claimed I was acting as an agent for a friend. It was very stupid and I shouldn’t have done it, but I didn’t think it would be taken seriously. I love my boys and they make me so happy and I want them to be happy. It was just a silly, silly joke.”