Maryland reclassifies child selling law

Maryland Reclassfies Child Sale Felony Law

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Brigitte Kaba

More stories from Brigitte Kaba

Statistics show the majority of abandoned children are less than one year of age. The Hope Box works to share and protect vulnerable babies being forgotten or adopted.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Koeppen

Statistics show the majority of abandoned children are less than one year of age. The Hope Box works to share and protect vulnerable babies being forgotten or adopted.

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Many new laws took effect in Maryland this month covering everything from business to animal cruelty, but arguably the most pivotal of them was Sale of Children HB481. 

Under the old Maryland code, the punishment for the trade, barter or sale of a child for money or item(s) of monetary value is a misdemeanor offense with penalties not to exceed a fine of up to $10,000. 

According to Capital News Service, “the criminal law is to be reclassified as a felony for the offer and selling, trading, bartering of a minor in exchange for anything of monetary value.”

“The hope of keeping children safe comes down to keeping everyone vigilant,” Sarah Koeppen, director of The Hope Box, a non-profit child neglect prevention organization said.

Statistics show the majority of abandoned children are less than one year of age. The Hope Box works to share and protect vulnerable babies being forgotten or adopted.

The Hope Box has now built a facility where mothers who are unable to properly raise their babies. Medical professionals nurture them until they can be adopted by a loving family, now inspiring hospitals around the nation to follow suit. 

“It’s really surprising how our state finally made the reform after who knows how long. I thought Maryland would be more progessive than that,” junior Boroka Ferencz said.

The state government has looked to resolve this issue by raising child safety awareness up to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who approved of the new policy, ample in the support of Republicans and Democrats alike. 

The juvenile justice law did not get a lot of the media’s attention as others, such as increasing the age to buy cigarettes and vape products. State governments have now been working for it to be harder than ever to split families and infants apart.

Despite having strong support from social welfare programs and the U.S. Children’s Bureau, a proposed bill outlawing the sale of minors failed to become law.

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