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Woman pleads guilty to baby sale deception

29 March 2004
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 251

A British woman accused of deceiving two couples into giving her money for her services as a surrogate has pleaded guilty to the charges against her. Moira Greenslade was charged on three counts of obtaining money by deception and three offences under the Adoption Act. The charges stem from the fact that, while pregnant, she 'sold' her unborn baby to two different couples, using the Internet to set up the deals.

Ms Greenslade, aged 33, from West Yorkshire, appeared before Bingley Magistrates Court earlier this month, accused of taking a total of £2,500 from two couples in September and October last year. It is claimed that she deceived the couples into believing that she was continuing a surrogacy agreement separately made with each of them.

The prosecution told the court how Greenslade entered a £9,000 surrogacy agreement in February 2003, with Scottish couple Mark and Michelle Johnson, who had been unsuccessful in eight attempts at IVF treatment. The couple paid her £1,500 in cash last September, but Ms Greenslade cancelled the agreement little more than a week before the baby was due to be born.

She also entered a second agreement, worth £5000, with Peter and Sharon Robinson-Hudson, from Wrexham in Wales, in August last year when she was already pregnant. They paid her two installments of £500 each in September and October 2003, but called the police when they received an email from her cancelling the agreement. It later transpired that she had entered a further surrogacy arrangement for £8,000 with another couple, at the hospital where the child was born, after placing an advertisement on a website in October 2003.

The woman was arrested in a Southampton hospital after giving birth to a baby girl in December last year. The baby was taken into care, where she remains. The magistrates bailed Ms Greenslade to appear at Bradford Crown Court for sentencing in April. Chair of the bench, Peter Illingworth, said 'taking into account all the circumstances we have heard and the likely effects on the victims of your deception, these offences are so serious they deserve greater punishment than we can give in this court'. Ms Greenslade now faces a prison sentence of up to ten years.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Internet baby mother admits guilt
BBC News Online |  29 March 2004
Mother faces jail for internet baby con
The Times |  29 March 2004
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