Woman offers up baby online

Marelize Potgieter

Cape Town – An online advertisement from a South African woman, apparently offering her baby for adoption, has sent shock waves across the internet.

The advert, under the headline: “Nice cute baby boy for adoption”, was removed from the Dealfish website about an hour after it was posted on Wednesday.

The ad continued: “hello we are having a baby boy for adoption to any barren home and those who need a baby only. so if you are interested then mail back for details.”

Dealfish is a free classified advertising website in the MIH Internet Africa group.

The site’s head, Sharon Knowles, said Dealfish had to act from an ethical perspective and remove the ad.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the advert,” she said.

She and her colleagues e-mailed the woman from their private addresses to try to find out more, so they could report her to the police. “We asked her how much she wanted for the baby and where she lives, but she didn’t respond.”

Child trafficking

Knowles said Dealfish is a relatively new site, and advertisers are asked to indicate where they want their advert to appear.

They found the advert was supposed to be visible in Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Pretoria, East London and Johannesburg.

Dealfish policy is to take down ads that don’t conform to their ethical code and to block the poster’s e-mail address.

Marié Louw, a Cape Town social worker who deals with adoption at the Western Cape Social Welfare Department, said the advert amounts to child trafficking, as it is illegal to take money for a child in an adoption.

She said adoption is covered by strict rules, and the priority is finding a suitable home for each child.

“We look for parents for children, not children for parents,” she said.

– Die Burger