A Ghent couple paid a woman 6,000 euros to ‘adopt’ her child. The story started when the man confessed to adultery to his partner and ended on Monday in court in Ghent. The duo risks a prison sentence for human trafficking, but asked for their own acquittal.
“A matter of principle.” This is how the Ghent prosecutor described the prospective parents’ file. “The child is being raised in a warm family and is doing well. That’s right. But the way she ended up with these people is simply not possible and these people must be prosecuted for that.”
The Ghent couple had wanted to have children for a long time, but due to a medical problem with the woman, they were unable to become pregnant. The man suddenly confessed that he had committed adultery and that the woman was pregnant. After a difficult period, the couple decided to move on and raise the child together.
They had a contract drawn up and paid a total of 6,000 euros to the woman. But several irregularities subsequently came to light. The East Flemish public prosecutor’s office therefore wants to prosecute the couple for human trafficking, degrading treatment and the man for forgery.
As it turned out, the adultery was a lie. “I thought I had to be the biological father to adopt the child,” the man testified in court. According to the public prosecutor’s office, the woman was also pressured to give up the child. “A child is not a commodity, we want to make that clear.”
The court will rule in this case on December 4. The public prosecutor requested 12 and 6 months suspended prison sentences for the man and the woman respectively. Their lawyers asked for the acquittal. “The biological mother absolutely did not want to know about the child. She threw her things away. She even declared to other people that it was dead.”
According to the couple’s lawyers, they only wanted to give the child a better future. “We were concerned about the woman and therefore gave her some money,” he said. “But that was never the driving force. The woman did not want the child, voluntarily gave it up and they are now taking good care of it,” the lawyers argued.