Belgian baby to be placed in state custody, says Dutch court

Amsterdam - A Belgian baby bought by a Dutch couple via the internet will be placed in Dutch state custody because the sale violates international adoption laws, a Dutch court decided on Thursday.

The court in Zwolle in the eastern Netherlands ruled in favour of the Dutch child protection service on Thursday.

The child protection service had requested the court on Wednesday to transfer the baby from the care of the Dutch couple to the authorities.

The Dutch couple, both aged 26, bought the child over the internet in July for an alleged sum of "between 5,000 and 10,000 euros" (6,500 and 13,000 dollars) from Belgian parents, aged 22 and 24.

The biological parents had said they could not carry the financial burden of what was their second child.

The Dutch couple brought the baby boy to the Netherlands one day after his birth in Gent, Belgium.

The case was brought to light by Dutch current affairs programme Netwerk.

The child, now aged four months, has since been living with his adoptive parents in the village of Sibculo in the eastern Netherlands.

"We are currently speaking with the couple," Martin Dirksen, director of the local youth care agency said after Thursday's court hearing.

"They want to comply with the court orders."

The Dutch child protection service said it was better for the child to be taken away from the couple and placed in foster care.

"A child should have absolute clarity about his background. This is of fundamental importance," child protection service director Marie-Louise van Kleef said.

The court gave the child protection service six weeks to prepare a proposal for a long-term solution, following which the court will decide about the child's future. (dpa)

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