Belgian media voices disgust at internet baby sale
Media storm as national media voiced its disgust at the allegations.
A Belgian couple accused of selling their unwanted second child over the Internet found themselves at the centre of a media storm Monday as national media voiced its disgust at the allegations.
Prosecutors in the northern city of Ghent opened an investigation over the weekend into the couple for agreeing an adoption without official authorisation, an offence that carries a five-year prison sentence in Belgium.
"Will we soon be buying babies on eBay?" asked Flemish language newspaper De Standaard, describing the case as "human smuggling", while the tabloid Het Laatse Nieuws voiced "incomprehension" at the case.
Prosecutors' spokeswoman Annemie Serlippens said the couple had decided not to keep the child because of money problems.
When the mother became too advanced in the pregnancy to have an abortion, the parents looked for potential foster parents over the Internet and got in contact with a Dutch couple.
According to Het Laatse Nieuws, the child was handed over to them in the hospital parking lot shortly after it was born. Prosecutors said that a payment was made but declined to give the amount.
The baby has been "correctly raised" in the Netherlands and can remain with the Dutch family, prosecutors said.
The child's real parents have been interviewed by Belgian authorities and have been released on bail.