Dutch couple who bought Internet baby sentenced

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A Dutch couple who bought a Belgian baby over the Internet three years ago was on Thursday given an eight-month suspended sentence.

"The court sentences the couple... for using a false (birth) certificate and an illegal adoption to an eight-month suspended sentence, a 1,000 euro suspended fine and 240 hours of community service," said a statement from the court in Zwolle, in northeastern Netherlands.

Three years ago the Belgian parents of baby Jayden, who already had a child and ran into financial trouble, offered the newborn for sale for 7,500 euros on the web. A childless Dutch man and woman, now aged 28 and 29, took up the offer, the court said.

After Jayden was born in Ghent in northern Belgium on July 3, 2008, the Dutch couple declared the birth under their own name at the city's municipality and returned to the Netherlands, where they used the Belgian documentation to register the birth in the town of Hardenberg.

Said the court on Thursday: "The accused only thought of their own wish to have a child and not of the implications for the baby."

Dutch prosecutors only charged the couple with an illegal adoption and using false documents as the Dutch penal code did not rule against the buying of a baby.

The baby was placed in the care of an adoptive family in December 2008.

Belgian prosecutors in Ghent said they wanted to prosecute Jayden's parents and grandmother, the Belga news agency reported, with the Ghent judges' chamber to announce a decision shortly.

© 2011 AFP

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