Ten days after he was born and his mother tried to sell him off, a baby is awaiting a decision on his future here.

The baby boy, born to a 36-year-old woman who had lost her husband barely five months before the delivery, is currently surviving on an incubator in the Women and Children’s Hospital near the Alappuzha Beach. Whether he will be returned to his mother, or whether he will be handed over to any State-run agency will be decided only on December 24, when the District Child Welfare Committee (CWC) meets.

The unsavoury episodes for the innocent child began on December 15, five days after he was born, when his mother was arrested by the police for attempting to sell him off to a childless couple at the Alappuzha Medical College Hospital here. The deal came to light when the mother and a woman who had arranged the sale, tried to hike the child’s “price” from the previously agreed Rs.20,000 to Rs.50,000. An argument followed, and bystanders who overheard the argument alerted the police aid-post in the hospital, following which the mother, the agent and the couple were arrested.

The mother told the police that extreme poverty had forced her to think of such an option, since she was not in a position to look after the child at all. The baby meanwhile was handed over to the custody of the District CWC, which later shifted to the W&C Hospital.

According to CWC member M.K. Abdul Samad, the CWC had decided to meet on December 24, when the mother would be summoned and asked to explain her actions. It had also been revealed that she had an elder son, and it would be inspected how she could take care of that child as well.

Though the mother approached the hospital authorities on Saturday, asking for the child to be returned to her, the hospital turned down her request saying that the decision could be taken only by the CWC.

“She has not approached us officially. In any case, she has been summoned to be present here with her elder son on December 24. Whether she can take her of him or both the children will all be decided then only,” Mr. Samad said.

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