Online surrogate scandal
A Belgian woman has been arrested for failing to deliver on a promise to be a surrogate mother.
A Belgian woman and man were arrested on charges of defrauding couples who believed the woman was willing to be a surrogate mother for their babies.

The woman, 31, is suspected of having offered her services over the Internet to Dutch couples for payment with the help of her former partner, 48, a prosecution spokeswoman from the Belgian city of Ghent said.

They risk jail terms of up to 5 years if convicted.

The couple also face a charge of unethical trading over what happened to twins the woman gave birth to in the spring.

"We are looking into whether these babies were sold," the spokeswoman said.

Such a trade could result in a two year prison sentence.

The two will face an examining magistrate later.

Surrogacy is not illegal in Belgium or the Netherlands, but, the issue has provoked debate in both countries after it emerged a different Belgian woman had advertised her baby for sale on the Internet and sold him to a Dutch couple.

A Dutch court ruled last week that the baby be placed in the temporary care of the Dutch authorities.

The Dutch couple denies buying the baby, saying they only paid the pregnancy costs. The court ruled the couple had broken laws for adopting foreign children.

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