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Mum puts her baby up for sale on website for £150,000
6:00am Saturday 28th December 2013 in News
Social services have swooped after a mother advertised her four-month-old baby boy for sale on the internet.
The woman was asking for £150,000 for her “beautiful” boy, and even said she was sick of “time wasters” responding to the advert.
The mother, who cannot be identified but lives within the Bradford district, placed a series of ads on classified website Gumtree on Boxing Day.
One chilling post read: “Baby boy for sale. Comes with everything included. Deposit needed as sick of time-wasters.”
Online networks of concerned parents quickly raised the alarm.
One of those alerted was Mike Curtis, 57, of Northamptonshire, a lobbyist and journalist specialising in child protection matters.
He said: “When you see that sort of thing, I was thinking, is this real, or is it a joke? Then I thought either way, this is not right. There is something really, really not right there.”
It is understood that the authorities have now placed the baby under a care order, although neither social services nor the police would confirm this.
The police did say the infant was found to be healthy and well looked-after, and was now being cared for “in conjunction with relatives and social services” while the mother received support.
No criminal charges are expected.
Councillor Ralph Berry, executive member for children’s services at Bradford Council, said the case was “breathtaking”.
He said: “It is shocking to hear about, but the priority has to be the welfare of the child, that’s what the law says.
“It just shows that over the Christmas period, social work services are actually very busy and sometimes we do deal with incredibly complex, shocking and difficult situations.”
Coun Berry said in-depth assessments of the mother’s ability to care for her baby would now have started.
He said: “We have got to remember that this is a child and that child’s future will be determined on the basis of what have to be very careful assessments.”
Detective Inspector Vanessa Smith, of Bradford District Police, said: “We are aware of this matter and the child concerned, who is both fit and well, is now being looked after in conjunction with relatives and social services.
“The mother is receiving appropriate care and support at this time.”
Julie Jenkins, Bradford Council’s assistant director of children’s specialist services, said: “We worked closely with the police to establish the safety of the child and we have made sure the child and the family have appropriate support and care.”
The adverts were taken down from Gumtree the same day. A spokesman for the website said they had taken action to remove them as quickly as possible.
He said: “We take that sort of activity extremely seriously. The most important thing is the safety of our users.
“There is nothing we can do to stop things being posted. It is an open platform and anyone can post anything, but these sorts of ads are definitely not allowed and we take action straight away”