SEOUL (KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A single man in his 20s has been criticised for selling his infant daughter for 600,000 won (S$744).
The Cheongju District Police Agency said it has asked the court to issue an arrest warrant for the suspect on charges of illicitly handing over his daughter, aged six months, to a woman in her 30s through an unauthorised website.
The suspect, who is a college student in Seoul, reportedly lived with his girlfriend of the same age in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province, and had the baby with her in October 2013.
As his parents reportedly did not even know that he was living with a woman, he had trouble earning enough to feed the baby. His girlfriend reportedly moved back to her parents' residence in February this year.
The single father then decided to give up the baby and posted an advertisement on a website to find someone to adopt his daughter in April.
An illicit adoption contract was made in late April between the single father and a woman in her 30s for only 600,000 won. But the transaction was discovered by a child protection agency.
Apart from seeking an arrest warrant for the man, police said it had booked the "buyer" without detention.
Many netizens denounced the suspect for acting irresponsibly as a father, arguing that he should be taken into custody for criminal punishment. Some of them said the baby's mother should also be held accountable under the law.
A netizen said: "Whether the price is 600,000 won or 600 million won, is it rational for a father to sell his biological child?"
Another claimed the root of the problem lies in the fact that many young couples are negligent in using contraception. He added that a huge number of college couples live together without being legally married.
"Though he must be subject to stern punishment, he is better than those who left their babies on the streets," said a netizen.
In addition, some said it was necessary to scrutinise the woman who tried to adopt the baby on an unauthorised website, voicing the possibility that she may be involved in baby trafficking.
According to police, the woman identified herself as a mother of five.