• France's news in English

French couple trades €8k and a BMW for a baby

Oliver Gee · 7 Apr 2015, 16:56

Published: 07 Apr 2015 16:56 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
The Marseille family landed in hot water with French authorities after they reportedly paid a team of people-smugglers for the baby.
The parents, Carmen and Mike, bought the child in 2013 after trying unsuccessfully for ten years to have children. They claimed that the situation was nothing more than a win-win for everyone involved.
"We didn't think we had done anything wrong," they told French channel BFM TV. "We saved a baby from poverty."
"As far as we know, this baby may have died if it wasn't for us."
They now face fines of up to €30,000 and up to two years in prison. 
The child, who is now 22 months old and lives in foster care, is understood to have been the seventh child born to a Romanian
family, whose mother could not afford to raise another. 
The story of the couple emerged as ten people went on trial on Tuesday suspected of being part of a human trafficking ring - with a 32-year-old Romanian man and his three sisters said to be the ringleaders.
The people smuggling ring itself is understood to have been implicated in several similar cases. 
In fact, a whole network is believed to be in operation in the southern city, with smugglers quick to bring pregnant Romanian women across the border to give birth in France, only to give up the baby for "adoption" afterwards - usually for €10,000.
Midwives tipped off police after they noticed suspicious behaviour in the maternity ward after a young mother was in tears after giving birth, while another young couple hardly left her bedside.
The court case is expected to finish on Wednesday, with the ringleaders facing up to ten years each behind bars. 
Story continues below…
Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France given wake up call as it bids for Brexit business
The business district 'La Defense' in Paris. Photo: AFP

France clearly has some work to do if it really wants to pinch business from the UK post-Brexit.

Mouth fun? French words you just can't translate literally
Do you know the French word for throat-support? Photo: AFP

Word of warning: Don't translate French literally.

How France plans to help its stressed-out police force
Yellow smoke rises around French police officers in Paris holding a banner reading "Solidarity with our colleagues, police angry". All photos: AFP

Could these measures stop the cops from protesting?

'3,000 migrants dispersed' after 'Jungle' clearance
Photo: AFP

While thousands of migrants have been bussed out around France, new ones are arriving all the time and thousands of others have simply been dispersed aid agencies say.

Fifteen of the most bizarre laws in France
Photo: Matthew Powell/Flickr

A must read for anyone who wants to stay on the right side of the law in France.

Medieval town in south of France upholds ban on UFOs
The town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Photo: Aa77zz/Flickr

Aliens take note.

American tourist dies at French Riviera sex club
The Riviera resort of Cannes. Photo: AFP

American tourist reportedly fell five floors after being pushed outside the underground sex club in Cannes.

Paris: 'Flying' water taxis to be tested on River Seine
Photo: SeaBubbles

An in Seine idea surely? But tests will go ahead.

France joins fight for rich pickings from post-Brexit UK
Photo: AFP/DcnH/Flickr

France tries to woo EU's bank regulator and other agencies.

How speaking French can really mess up your English
Photo: CollegeDegree360/Flickr

So you've mastered French, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available