On August 24 36-year-old Babita Charan gave birth to a healthy baby boy via cesarean section. The hospital bill totaled Rs 35,000 or approximately $480. Babita and her husband, 45-year-old Shiv Charan didn't have the money though, so the hospital allegedly gave them only one option.
“My wife and I can’t read or write. We gave thumb impressions on all documents, as the hospital asked. I didn't get discharge papers, bills, or any other papers," Shiv told the Times of India.
The couple reported that they had tried to inquire about what serves would be available to them at lower costs due to work loss brought on by the coronavirus, but stated that information was not made available to them.
Shiv stated that the hospital would settle the bill out of the sale of their new son, and provide the couple with the remainder of the Rs 1 lahk (approximately $1,360) price.
"We were asked to sell our baby to the hospital for Rs 1 lahk. They would deduct the Rs 35,000 from that and give us back the rest. We had no option but to agree."
"This is a serious matter," district magistrate Prabhu N. Singh stated to the Times of India. "It will be investigated and suitable action taken against those found guilty."
The hospital dismissed the allegations of the couple stating that they had not "bought" the child, but that the couple had willingly "given up" the child for adoption.
"These claims are wrong. We didn't force him to give up his child. He did so of his own accord. I have a copy of the written agreement signed by the parents expressing his willingness," Seema Guota, manager of he hospital stated.
News out of India this morning though, is that the couple has had their son returned to them after an investigation was conducted into the practices of the hospital.
According to the Times of India, a primary investigation revealed that the hospital had not only been operating without a license for five years, but the hospital was sealed due to "glaring lapses."
On Tuesday night, the baby was returned to his parents.
"I had been longing to see him. I am so happy he is with me now," Babita said.