A 20-year-old mother-of-two from Bradford has had her two children removed and taken into care by social services after she put an ad on Gumtree offering a baby for sale.
The ad drew so many complaints when it was posted to the classified listings site on Boxing Day that police were contacted and Gumtree removed the listing within hours, once they became aware of it.
The woman, who hasn’t been named, has now said it was all a joke but readers took it very seriously, especially as the advert said that the baby “comes with everything included” and that there is a “deposit needed as sick of timewasters.”
In an effort to excuse her behaviour the woman has said that the whole thing was a joke that got out of hand. She must have been very surprised when police turned up at her door with social workers to take her kids away. Apparently she didn’t know you can get tracked by your IP address.
Talking to the Mail she said,
I had been joking with my ex about selling sperm and eggs and he sort of dared me to put up a baby for sale – but I didn’t mean our children.
I put on Gumtree that I was selling a baby for £150,000. I just plucked that number out of thin air and I claimed I was acting as an agent for a friend.
It was very stupid and I shouldn’t have done it, but I didn’t think it would be taken seriously.
I love my boys and they make me so happy and I want them to be happy. It was just a silly, silly joke.
Detective Inspector Vanessa Smith told the Bradford Telegraph and Argus,
We are aware of this matter and the child concerned, who is both fit and well, is now being looked after in conjunction with relatives and social services.
The mother is receiving appropriate care and support at this time.
So far, it seems that no criminal proceedings will be brought against the woman (not even for wasting police time?) but Bradford social services exclaimed that their priority had to be with the safety of the children involved.