German court restricts contact between father and 'eBay baby'

The spokesman of the district and regional court Duisburg, Rolf Rausch (right), answers questions of journalists in Duisburg, Germany on Oct 27 October. He informed the public on the judge's decision concerning a baby that was offered for sale on eBa
The spokesman of the district and regional court Duisburg, Rolf Rausch (right), answers questions of journalists in Duisburg, Germany on Oct 27 October. He informed the public on the judge's decision concerning a baby that was offered for sale on eBay. A man that offered his new-born daughter of a few weeks on eBay is currently only allowed to see his child under supervision, the court has ruled. The mother is said to move into a facility for mothers and children, without the father. PHOTO: EPA

BERLIN (AFP) - A German court ruled on Thursday that a man who put his one-month-old baby up for sale on the online auction platform eBay should only be allowed contact with the child under supervision.

The man, who is a refugee, had admitted to putting up the advertisement offering his baby girl for 5,000 euros (S$7,600), but said it was meant as a joke.

On Thursday, the court in the western city of Duisburg decided to restrict contact between the man and his child, national news agency DPA reported.

It ruled that the man's wife, who is also a refugee, should have custody of the baby and move into special housing for mothers and children.

The man would be allowed contact with the child only under supervision, the court said.

The couple's nationality was not released by authorities.

The advertisement, which appeared online on October 11 for about 30 minutes before eBay took it down, sparked outrage in Germany and prompted police to launch a probe into possible human trafficking.

Several pictures of the black-haired infant were seen in the advertisement, which was titled "40-day-old child named Maria ...for sale", according to local media.

The baby girl was handed to child protection officers during the investigations.