A woman in India reportedly sold her newborn baby for $1,300 to a childless couple due to financial issues after being separated from her husband.

The incident took place last week in the southern state of Telangana. According to local media, the couple who "purchased" the 3-day-old baby was traced by the officials of the Women Development and Child Welfare department. On Sunday, the couple and the baby were called to the Child Welfare Committee's office. The baby was then sent to a child care home.

District Child Protection Officer Mahender Reddy said the baby boy was born on June 10 to a tribal woman, Telangana Today reported. One of her relatives told the woman to sell the baby to a couple as she would not be able to handle the finances.

The woman later went to Narsampet, a town in Warangal district in the state, and sold the baby. However, the news of the incident spread quickly in the town and officials of the Women Development and Child Welfare department were notified.

"The biological mother’s family misled us when questioned about the boy’s whereabouts. We filed a complaint with the local police and then we were able to trace the boy to a couple in Hasanparty in Warangal Urban district. They denied knowledge of the law against the illegal adoption of children. We took possession of the child after the biological mother surrendered him to us and handed him over to the Shishu Gruha run by the women and child development department,” Reddy said, media outlet News Meter reported.

During investigation, it was found the child's aunt had mediated the sale. The mother already had two children – a four-year-old son and a two-year-old girl – before she gave birth to her third child in June. She was staying with her mother for several months due to marital disputes with her husband.

Meanwhile, the childless couple have filed a request with the Child Welfare Committee saying they purchased the baby due to ignorance of the law and regulations of the child adoption scheme in the country. An investigation is underway into the incident. No charges have been filed in the case so far.

newborn-1399155_640 Representational image Photo: pixabay