China mother charged for selling baby for $9,000: state media

BEIJING (AFP) - A Chinese mother has been charged with human trafficking for allegedly conspiring with a doctor to sell her baby boy for $9,000, media reported Sunday, the latest case highlighting the country's lucrative child market.

The mother-in-law of the woman initially notified police in central Henan province that she suspected the child had been sold, a report by state news agency Xinhua said.

The woman, who was surnamed Huang, had previously told the family that the baby died soon after birth, said the report, which cites local prosecutors.

The woman had a son from a previous marriage and often "quarrelled" with her current husband, Xinhua said.

She "was worried that the new baby would affect the life of her first child", it said.

A couple paid 42,000 yuan (S$9,000) for the child, 7,000 yuan of which went to the obstetrician who helped find the buyers, according to Xinhua.

The woman has been charged with human trafficking, other Chinese media outlets reported, while the doctor has also been prosecuted.

China has long struggled to rein in a lucrative market in babies, fuelled by a preference for male children and the "one child policy," which limits the number of children couples can have.

This month reports said police arrested more than 100 suspects in a crackdown on trafficking newborn babies and children in which 37 babies were rescued.

In March 2013, Chinese police rescued 92 children and two women and detained 301 people suspected of being involving with trafficking.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.