Poor Chinese Woman Arrested for Selling 3 of her Babies

March 2, 2014 Updated: March 2, 2014

A woman from Hunan Province was arrested for selling three of her six children shortly after their birth.

Ms. Zhang was apprehended at an Internet cafe in Sichuan Province on Feb. 20. Her husband, whose last name is Wang, was arrested last September and is currently in jail. At the time, police had put Ms. Zhang under house arrest, because she was pregnant again, but she managed to escape and has been on the run since, the Xiaoxiang Morning Herald reported.

The couple had six children in six years, all of them boys. Their first son was born in 2007, when Zhang was only 17 years old. 

Their second child was born the following year. Since neither of the parents had a fixed income, they sold the baby for 6,000 yuan ($979) to a couple in Changsha City.

Their third son was born in 2009, and they sold him to a couple in their 60s for 20,000 yuan ($3,263) when he was two months old. 

In 2012, they had another baby boy, their fifth child. They sold him three months later to a couple in Hengyang City for 10,000 yuan ($1,632).

According to the news report, Ms. Zhang’s father reluctantly reported the couple to the police. 

When the couple’s family discovered that they were selling their babies, they initially did not want to report them, an officer at Hengnan County Police Department told the Morning Herald. “They had the two write a guarantee letter promising they wouldn’t do it again, but they continued selling their children, so the father finally decided to report them to the police,” the officer said.

The police said they have located the couple’s first and third sons. They weren’t sure what happened to the last baby, and whether he was with the mother or not. 

Poverty, illicit profiting, and China’s coercive one-child policy drives baby trafficking in China. On Feb. 28, the Public Security Ministry said that Chinese police rescued 382 abducted babies and arrested 1,094 suspects involved in Internet-based baby trafficking rings.

Written in English by Cassie Ryan and Gisela Sommer.