Australian woman charged in Net baby selling case

A woman in Victoria, Australia, is charged with attempting to sell her child over the Internet

The business of selling babies over the Internet is in the spotlight again, this time with a 39-year-old Victoria, Australia woman appearing before a magistrate's court after she used the Internet to contact people overseas in an attempt to sell her child.

The woman, who cannot be named, was summoned to appear in Dandenong Magistrate's Court in Victoria yesterday, facing two charges under the Adoption Act 1984. One charge was for agreeing to receive payment in consideration of the adoption or proposed adoption of a child. The second charge was for agreeing to receive a payment in consideration of the making of an agreement with a view to the adoption of a child, a Victorian spokesperson has confirmed.

The offences allegedly took place last year when "contact was made with people overseas via the Internet", a spokesperson for the Victorian Police told ZDNet Australia.

A US-based Internet adoption broker hit the headlines in March last year after allegedly promising 9-month-old twin girls to two different families. The baby girls were listed on a Web site called "Caring Heart Adoption" and the situation sparked an international custody battle and highlighted the issue of baby selling over the Internet.

Media reports claim this to the first case of its kind in Australia, however the spokesperson said he "couldn't really speculate". Because the case is before the courts, he said, "we're limited in what we can say."

The case has been adjourned to a later date.


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