British Columbia

Ad offering baby for sale a joke, says father

An online ad offering a week-old baby for sale was a joke, according to the baby's father.

An online ad offering a week-old baby for sale was a joke, according to the baby's father.

The ad, which appeared on Craigslist, read: "Must have!!!! $10,000, a new baby girl, healthy and very cute. Can't afford and unexpected, Looking for a good home, Please call ASAP" and included a cellphone number.

A woman from Maple Ridge, B.C., called police after seeing the ad on Friday, Const. Tim Fanning said. Police tracked the posting to a residence in Vancouver's west end on Friday night, where officers did, in fact, find a newborn baby at an apartment.

The 23-year-old mother was found breast-feeding a seven-day-old baby in a bedroom. The baby's 26-year-old father was among the four adults in the apartment, Fanning said.

Jeremy Pete, the baby's father, told CBC News on Wednesday that he posted the ad, but it was just a joke. He said he wrote the ad after kidding around with a friend, but did not think it would actually be posted online.

The baby is now in the care of the Ministry of Children and Family Services, Pete said, and he is trying to find a lawyer to help him get the child back.

Pete disputed reports that he and the baby's mother have drug problems. He said they have both used alcohol, but have never used hard drugs like heroin, cocaine or crystal meth.

Pete did confirm he has a lengthy criminal record, including charges of theft, dangerous driving and obstructing police. He and the mother of the baby girl are best friends but are not romantically involved, Pete said. He and his current girlfriend have a three-month-old son.

Pete said he has turned his life around, and now works as a carpenter. He said he spent time in foster care as a child and wants to break that cycle.

Both of the baby girl's parents told police when first questioned that the ad was a hoax, but they were still arrested. Both were released without charges being laid.