Couple give away baby for $8,000

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Desperate: Caly gave her baby up in exchange for $8,000 to bail her husband and herself out of financial problems.

SINGAPORE - She will turn 21 in December. And she recently gave away her baby in exchange for $8,000.

Caly (not her real name) insists it was not for monetary gain. But she admits the money will come in handy as she and her husband are in financial difficulties.

She made this clear in several online advertisements she posted in May: "My husband and I are putting our 5-month-old daughter of mixed blood up for adoption due to financial constraints and also because we are not ready for a kid."

"We are looking for a sincere couple to adopt her as soon as possible for a small adoption fee as costs are getting almost impossible to cope with."

"Please understand that we wouldn't be asking for any fee if we didn't really need it as we feel bad enough for having to do this, but our situation is quite dire financially."

About two weeks after the ads appeared, a reader alerted The New Paper, saying: "We are just worried that it may be child trafficking or (the) baby may be sold to (a) paedophile."

When TNP, posing as a prospective adopter, contacted Caly, she replied in an e-mail at the end of May, saying: "I have already found a couple to adopt my baby girl and have given her away this week."

In a meeting with TNP last week, Caly agreed to talk about the adoption.

NOT READY

The baby was born two months after Caly married her husband last September. They were not financially ready for a child and the timing was wrong.

She had asked for the small adoption fee because "we had a lot of bills to pay off".

Caly said: "We never accepted nor asked for any money with the intent of selling our child.

"We love her a lot but we were not financially able to provide her with all that a child will need."

The highest offer was $10,000, but the deal didn't go through. Caly said: "They wanted her as a companion for their adopted daughter. That didn't seem right to me."

Just as she almost changed her mind about the adoption, another couple approached her.

"They had contacted me before but I didn't reply to them. They were persistent and tried again. I knew they were serious. So I thought it was fated."

They gave Caly $8,000 and paid for the "legal paperwork". Caly stressed that everything was above board. "The adoption was handled legally and the whole process went through the legal channels," she said.

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