China

China doctor tried for trafficking babies

Zhang Shuxia stands trial in Weinan Intermediate People's Court in Weinan, Shaanxi province, 30 December 2013
Image caption Zhang Shuxia admitted to selling seven babies to traffickers, state media said

A Chinese obstetrician is on trial for stealing newborn babies and selling them to child traffickers, a court and state media report.

Zhang Shuxia was accused of selling seven babies. She told the parents their infants were sick, and convinced them to give them up, reports said.

Ms Zhang admitted the charges in a court in Fuping, Shaanxi province.

The case emerged after two parents went to the police, suspecting their child had been abducted.

Ms Zhang sold seven babies to child traffickers between November 2011 and July 2013, including a pair of twins, an indictment posted on Weinan Intermediate People's Court's verified microblog said.

Six of the babies were rescued, but one baby girl died.

Ms Zhang worked in Shaanxi's Fuping Maternal and Child Healthcare Hospital.

In the most recent case, a baby born on 16 July was trafficked after Ms Zhang told his parents the boy had a serious congenital disease, and convinced them to give up the child.

Ms Zhang sold the baby to two other suspects, who sold the boy to a buyer in Henan province.

The parents reported the case to police on 20 July after they suspected that their baby had been trafficked.

The baby was found and returned to his parents in early August.

Ms Zhang and several other suspects were arrested.

Ms Zhang's defence lawyer said that the parents had voluntarily given up their babies, and that she had received several awards in her work, the court said.

Under China's strict population control policies, most couples can only have one child, and there is a strong preference for healthy baby boys.

Earlier this month, China's top legislature formally adopted a resolution easing the country's one-child policy, allowing couples to have two children if either parent is an only child.

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