Task team monitors online adoption

2013-04-24 08:52

The department of social development has appointed officials to monitor classified advertising websites, after an unborn baby was offered for adoption at a price on Gumtree.

The advert was posted on April 17, allegedly by a 24-year-old pregnant woman from Kuils River in Cape Town, the Star reported today.

The advertiser described herself as a “beautiful black woman” and asked anyone interested in adopting the baby to call a cellphone number.

By 7pm on Monday, 88 people had viewed the page. But yesterday it appeared the advert had been removed.

The Western Cape social development department had unsuccessfully tried to identify the advertiser.

MEC Albert Fritz equated the advertisement to child trafficking.

He said he had since tasked a team with monitoring websites like Gumtree for the illegal sale or adoption of children.

“We have been trying to contact the number given online, but have not been able to. It appears the advert has been removed from the website.

“The Children’s Act prohibits advertising the adoption of babies and children,” he said.

Fritz said the Adoption Act did provide for compensation for reasonable medical expenses during pregnancy, but this had to be done through the proper channels.

“A woman can’t be paid for giving the child for adoption. The process has to be done through our department.

“The other shocking element was that (the advert) said people must contact (the number) for a price, which is worrying to us,” Fritz said.

Captain FC van Wyk said the advert had not been reported to the police.

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