Police have uncovered a so-called “baby farm” operating out of a private hospital in India where unwanted babies are being sold and swapped.
Women wanting to terminate their pregnancies at the Palash hospital in Gwalior were convinced by staff to give birth in secret and hand over newborns to be sold to childless couples for the equivalent of $2000 Australian dollars.
According to the Times of India, two newborns were rescued from the 30-bed hospital by police, but at least three others had already been sold.
It is believed the hospital used “agents” to find vulnerable young women who had fallen pregnant through rape of illicit relationships.
“When a girl or her parents approached them for termination of pregnancies, doctors at this hospital used to convince them assuring a safe and secret delivery. Once baby is delivered and mother gets discharged, hospital authorities start hunting for gullible couples who could buy them,” an investigating officer told local media.
Police also found at least one case of a couple trading in their baby for one of the opposite gender.
“A Gwalior based couple had two boys. They swapped one of their boys with a girl at this hospital,” the officer said.
The hospital was raided over the weekend and five people including the hospital director have been arrested.