Indian woman sells baby to pay hospital bill

HYDERABAD, India (AFP) – A poverty-stricken single mother in India sold her newborn son to a childless couple for 6,000 rupees (120 dollars) so she could pay the medical bill for the birth, a media report said Tuesday.

The 20-year-old woman, Rajitha, delivered the baby by Caesarean section last week in the town of Kothagudem in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, but could not afford the 2,000 rupee (40 dollar) hospital fee, the NDTV news channel reported.

A rickshaw driver friend gave her 6,000 rupees for the baby, which he planned to raise with his wife. The couple have no children.

Police interrogated the woman in the local hospital, 270 kilometres (170 miles) from the state capital Hyderabad, where she told them her husband had abandoned her and she had no means to support herself and a baby.

Police said they would take action against the hospital.

“Buying and selling a baby is an offence, so we will be booking cases,” Kothagudem revenue division officer P. Rajaram said.

Welfare officials want the baby to be reunited with his mother so she can breastfeed him. They said the mother and child would then be shifted to a state-run facility where Rajitha can decide if she wants to put the baby up for adoption.

The incident occurred in the parliamentary constituency of India’s minister of state for women and child development Renuka Chowdhury

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