A couple claim they were forced to “sell” their baby by the hospital where he was born – because they couldn’t afford their medical bills.
Horrified Shiv Charan and wife Babita allege that they were made to sign documents they did not understand – and are now desperate to be reunited with their son.
Babita gave birth last week in Agra, India, but was reportedly horrified when hospital staff said she’d have to sell the infant for £1,000 to pay for her treatment.
A criminal investigation is now underway, the Times of India reports.
Magistrate Prabhu N Singh described it as a “serious matter”, adding: “It will be investigated and suitable actions taken against those found guilty.”
Rickshaw driver Mr Charan, 45, said neither he nor his wife can read or write, and did not know what was happening when they were made to sign over their son.
He said: “We gave thumb impressions on all documents, as the hospital asked.”
The Times of India reports that babies are often sold to families desperate for a child.
The couple said they did not know where to go for free healthcare during the coronavirus lockdown, and unwittingly incurred the cost of a c-section, which they could not afford.
Babita, 36, said she wants her son – the couple’s sixth child – back.
Child rights activist Naresh Paras said procedures had not been followed and the hospital’s claim that it had documents was “no value”.
He added: “They have committed a crime.”
The hospital denies any wrongdoing, saying the couple willingly agreed to give up their baby.
Manager Seema Gupta claimed Mr Charan did it of his “own accord”.