A father in desperate need for a son has been arrested in east China for selling his newborn daughter.
According to Yiwu police in Zhejiang province, the man, Xiaohu, thought his wife was going to have a baby boy but was left disappointed that his second child turned out to be another girl.
Due to the outcome, Xiaohui sold off the 10-day-old baby to a couple in another province for £4,500 in late September.
The man was reported to Police by his mother after she realized that her granddaughter had gone missing. Li, 42, told police that she was going to visit her son to help take care of the newborn girl like she did when her first granddaughter was born. But he refused.
In early October, Li finally visited her daughter-in-law when her son was not home, but the baby was nowhere to be found.
According to her, she immediately questioned her son about the baby’s whereabouts but he refused to answer her. She then later reported him to the authorities after suspecting him of selling the child.
In a statement to Police, she said: ‘I only saw my granddaughter a couple of times when she was born. I never saw her after that – my son wouldn’t even let me in the house,’ she said, adding that she could only leave her homemade meals at their doorstep.
After being interrogated by police, Xiaohui admitted to selling his daughter to a couple in Hubei province’s Enshi city, more than 1,200 kilometres (745 miles) away.
The unemployed father confessed that he wanted to sell the baby girl because he had hoped for a son instead. He said he felt under financial pressure having already had a daughter.
On October 15, Yiwu city police located the couple in Enshi and rescued the baby girl.
‘We were worried that the buyers could be involved in a child trafficking scheme,’ officer Zhu Xiaojing said. The married couple, surnamed Zhang and Xu, were desperate for a child after trying and failing for more than 10 years.
Police added that the couple admitted to buying the baby online and were cooperative during investigations.
Both the couple and the father were detained by police, according to the statement. The baby has been transported back to Yiwu and is currently under the care of her mother and grandmother.
Under Chinese law, trafficking and selling women and children is punishable by five to 10 years in prison, but life sentences or death penalties can also be issued.