Pushed by poverty to give away their newborns

Pushed by poverty to give away their newborns
Written by Publishing Team

Nazma’s son * was only one day old when she told his mother, a midwife, that she could not raise her baby. The 28-year-old mother of five knew that her husband’s monthly income as a rickshaw driver, who was an alcoholic and often beat her, was not enough to care for another family member.

In less than a week, she chose to deliver her baby to a family in West Delhi. She only wanted a good family to raise her son. She received 2,000,000 in return.

Rekha, whom Nazma’s mother knew, helped her with this arrangement. “When I reached the designated place in Uttam Nagar, Rekha was there with a couple who took my child and kissed him in front of me, then Rekha took some money from the couple and surprisingly gave it to me. “she said.

The hindu met more families like Nazma’s who, driven by poverty, chose to donate their babies. Delhi police recently broke up the gang of women who sold newborn babies in the city. Their modus operandi involved targeting pregnant women from economically weaker sections who were willing to give their babies for 50,000 to 2 lakh, as their circumstances did not allow them to raise another child.

Urgent need

In the case of Nazma, the “re” of her husbandto take contraceptive measures and her inability to undergo a tubectomy due to her religious faith ”made her situation difficult. While not seeking any monetary gain in this area, Chandni *, residing in North Delhi, was in dire need. In her seventh month of pregnancy, the mother of three realized that raising another child would not be easy. She was already struggling with the medical expenses of her four-year-old son with respiratory problems. She confided in her sister-in-law Rashmi *, an egg donor in an IVF center in Patel Nagar. Chandni knew Kajal, an employee of the IVF center. Kajal assured her to take the newborn baby on condition that the baby is delivered to her within 10 days of birth.

Chandni’s husband, a weddings drummer and daily bet, was against his wife’s decision because he wanted to keep their son. But Chandni insisted on giving the child in exchange for money as it could be used to care for their other son.

“I asked Kajal if I could see my child later, but she refused. She also didn’t share details about the family, only told us that he would go to a good family, ”she said.

Ten days after the birth of her son in April, Chandni and Rashmi went to meet Kajal. “She met us in a park east of Delhi, took my baby and came back with 2,000,000. “After that day, she stopped taking my calls when I tried to reach her to inquire about my baby,” she said.

Jyotsna’s fifth pregnancy * was unwanted. Her neighbor Anjali – whose role is under investigation – advised her against abortion and told her to give the baby to a family in need. She also told Jyotsna that her brother and sister-in-law would adopt her child.

After giving birth in November, Jyotsna changed her mind and decided to keep her baby boy. Anjali convinced her and the child was eventually handed over to a couple. Anjali subsequently became secret.

Illegal adoptions

When Delhi police unearthed the racket, Jyotsna learned that the couple who took her baby were not ajali’s brother and sister-in-law but her second husband and a friend who allegedly sold the child to another couple. The child has not yet been found, police said.

The illegal adoptions came to light when Deputy Police Commissioner Rajesh Deo’s team received a WhatsApp message from an informant regarding the buying and selling of infants.

A senior officer said district police decided to investigate the case because children were involved.

With Deputy Inspector Anita as investigator, three women were arrested on December 17, followed by two more the next day, and the sixth woman was arrested a few days later.

Police say Kajal was the mastermind of the racketeering with Priyanka, who is on the run. The others are Priya, Priya Jain, Rekha, Premvati and Shivani aka Bittoo, all of whom worked in the health sector.

The women often took possession of newborns, kept them in their homes until they found a family to adopt, police said. They would feed the newborns with powdered milk but in one case one of the suspects, according to the officer, was a nursing mother and she alone was feeding the child she had produced.

According to investigators, after these women got hold of the babies, they dressed them in “attractive clothes”, took videos and photos and distributed them to their circles and to potential buyers. The selling price of a child was usually between ₹ 5 lakh and ₹ 6 lakh, of which ₹ 1 lakh- ₹ 2 lakh was given to the biological mother. The rest of the money was kept as commission by the pimps. The women contacted each other only by cell phone and met at IVF centers to avoid suspicion.

Police said the women thought they were doing nothing wrong but helping couples without children. Police have so far recovered three children and located 10 more. An officer said some of the children had been placed in well-to-do families while their birth parents struggled to make ends meet. “Uncovering this racketeering also presents a moral dilemma,” said Special Police Commissioner Devesh Chandra Srivastava. “But we have to work within the law.”

Mr Deo said economically weaker sections should also be made aware of the racketeering of the illegal sale of their children.

(* Names changed)

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