A Beijing migrant worker is awaiting a verdict after going on trial charged with child abduction. He was found “selling” his newborn baby boy to an adoptive parent for 80,000 yuan (HK$102,000).
Jia Xiaoping went on trial in a court in suburban Shunyi District of Beijing on Wednesday after police discovered he was touting his own son online in early January, The Beijing News reported.
Police said Jia had peddled his son on a number of websites and instant messaging applications before it had even been born. Jia initially asked for a price of 35,000 yuan but later raised it a number of times to 50,000 and 60,000 yuan accordingly after he sensed “many people could accept the price”.
In January he closed a deal with a non-Beijing adoptive parent surnamed Wang with a price of 80,000, and handed his baby son to the woman just four days after he was born.
During the trial Jia insisted that he “gave away” the baby, and maintained that the decision had been made out of economic concerns. He said he charged the adoptive mother 80,000 to “test her good faith”.
According to the report, Jia came to Beijing early last year with his underaged girlfriend who was younger than 17-years- old at the time. By the end of May, the couple found out she was pregnant but Jia, who worked at a pavement snack booth, said he was “too busy” to take his girlfriend to an abortion clinic.
With Jia earning a meagre salary and his girlfriend unemployed, he told the court that they eventually decided that instead of raising the child themselves in poverty they would give him away “so he could grow up as a city resident”.
During the trial the public prosecutor pointed out that Jia had not demonstrated that he was in any way concerned by the adoptive parent’s economic condition through the event, and that the amount of money he solicited from her was far beyond a gesture of gratitude, the report said. These two facts together, the prosecutor argued, constituted a charge of child abduction.
The prosecutor had decided not to pursue charge against the adoptive mother Wang.
“Wang’s financial capability could offer a secure economic environment for the baby and she treated the baby well … so [we] decided not to prosecute her,” a senior officer of the public prosecution service told The Beijing News. He added the child would continue to stay with Wang in the future given that he has been treated well and that Jia was not seeking his return.
The court did not immediately announce a verdict in the trial. Child abduction is subject to a sentence of between five and 10 years in China. But the prosecutor is seeking a more lenient punishment for Jia as the baby involved in the case was his own, and is set apart from ordinary child abduction cases in terms of “degrees of danger to society”.