Dutch couple who bought Internet baby face trial

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Judicial authorities in Belgium are charging the Dutch couple who bought a Belgian baby over the Internet for degrading treatment of a child.

THE NETHERLANDS – A Dutch couple who bought a baby over the Internet and the baby's biological mother will be charged in Belgium for degrading treatment of a child.

The decision to prosecute the trio comes after a Dutch court ruled that the couple, who adopted the baby in 2005, will not be prosecuted as the time limit for illegal adoption cases has expired.

The Belgian authorities are taking the upcoming case very seriously because of the likely judicial precedent it will set for the conduct of surrogate mothers.

Belgium's judicial authorities said the case has a large number of international implications and there needs to be a legal framework for dealing with surrogacy.

The baby, Donna, was born in Belgium in 2005 and sold to the couple from Leusden near Utrecht by her mother.  The baby had originally been promised to her biological father, Bart Philtjens, and his wife who are unable to have children of their own.

In January, the Dutch authorities ruled against prosecuting the Dutch couple for illegal adoption as Philtjens had reported the matter to the Dutch police in 2007 and the two-year time limit for prosecution had expired.

The Dutch couple has also been awarded custody of four-year-old Donna while parental access rights have been granted to Philtjens.

The trial in Belgium remains to be seen as there may be insufficient evidence to bring the case to trial.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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