A couple from Shanghai is in police custody after it emerged that they “sold” their baby daughter, using the proceeds to buy an iPhone, amongst other luxurious products.
The couple already have two children, and, under Chinese law, risked being prosecuted for having a third. The mother of the child cited wanting her daughter to have a better life as the reason behind the unofficial adoption, and insists that financial reward played no part in the transaction.
Although it hasn’t been confirmed how much the couple actually received for the child, their online listings requested between 30,000 and 5,000 Yuan (£3,000 to £5,000). Records show that the pair then went on to use the money to buy an iPhone, as well as sports shoes and other luxury goods.
The news has received a huge outcry in China and across the globe, once again questioning Chinese attitudes towards childbirth and female babies in particular. Although the gender of the baby in question is said to have borne no influence on the couple’s decision, it is not unusual for female children to be considered less favourable to males, especially in rural areas of China.
It is unknown whether the adoption of the baby will be considered official by the state, though the biological parents, who have not been named, are facing charges of human trafficking.