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Inquiries into ‘sale’ of surrogate child

Published on 24/05/2005

24 May 2005

AMSTERDAM — Belgian justice officials and Dutch child protection authorities are investigating a Flemish woman who allegedly sold her surrogate baby to a Dutch couple.

The sale is alleged to have occurred over the internet and Belgian authorities seized the woman’s computer on Monday as part of an investigation. The woman and her husband have been questioned by police, Flemish broadcaster VRT reported.

The Dutch Council for the Protection of Children also started inquiries on Monday to determine if the correct adoption procedures are being followed and whether payment had been made for the baby exchange.

The surrogate mother agreed with a Limburg couple in April 2004 to bear the baby for an alleged price of EUR 8,000, but later claimed she had a miscarriage. Shortly thereafter, the woman said her husband was the father of the child.

Just two months before the baby’s birth, the woman allegedly offered the child to a gay couple, who refused when the woman demanded EUR 10,000 in payment.

The surrogate mother then gave the baby to a Dutch couple from Utrecht for a reported fee of EUR 15,000. The Dutch couple is now trying to adopt the three-month old girl named Donna.

But the Limburg heterosexual couple who initiated the surrogacy is demanding a DNA test to determine who the biological father is in order to lay claim to the child.

Belgian Liberal VLD Senator Patrick Vankrunkelsven is urging stricter regulations for surrogacy. The practice is currently permitted in Belgium, but there are few regulations and several other women have recently offered their babies for sale via the internet.

Vankrunkelsven wants to prevent commercial surrogacy and ensure surrogate mothers are given the right kind of support and guidance. It would only be legal to give children to the parents who initiated the surrogate pregnancy.

The Belgian politician is also working to establish an assessment centre where all surrogacy applications would have to be lodged.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch + Belgian news