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WEST VIRGINIA CODE

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CHAPTER 61. CRIMES AND THEIR PUNISHMENT.

ARTICLE 2. CRIMES AGAINST THE PERSON.

§61-2-14h. Prohibition of purchase or sale of child; penalty; definitions; exceptions.

(a) Any person or agency who knowingly offers, gives, or agrees to give to another person money, property, service, or other thing of value in consideration for the recipient’s locating, providing, or procuring a minor child for any purpose which entails a transfer of the legal or physical custody of the child, including, but not limited to, adoption or placement, is guilty of a felony and subject to fine and imprisonment as provided in this section.

(b) Any person who knowingly receives, accepts, or offers to accept money, property, service, or other thing of value to locate, provide or procure a minor child for any purpose which entails a transfer of the legal or physical custody of the child, including, but not limited to, adoption or placement, is guilty of a felony and subject to fine and imprisonment as provided in this section.

(c) Any person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, may be confined in the state correctional facility for not less than one year nor more than 10 years or, in the discretion of the court, be confined in jail not more than one year and fined not less than $2,000 nor more than $10,000.

(d) A child whose parent, guardian, or custodian has sold or attempted to sell said child in violation of the provisions of §48-22-1 et seq. of this code may be deemed an abused child as defined by §49-1-201 of this code. The court may place such a child in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Resources or with another responsible person as dictated by the best interests of the child.

(e) This section does not prohibit the payment or receipt of the following:

(1) Fees paid for reasonable and customary services provided by the Department of Health and Human Resources or any licensed or duly authorized adoption or child-placing agency;

(2) Reasonable and customary legal, medical, hospital or other expenses incurred in connection with the pregnancy, birth, and adoption proceedings;

(3) Fees and expenses included in any agreement in which a woman agrees to become a surrogate mother; or

(4) Any fees or charges authorized by law or approved by a court in a proceeding relating to the placement plan, prospective placement, or placement of a minor child for adoption.

(f) At the final hearing on the adoption as provided in §48-22-1 et seq. of this code, an affidavit of any fees and expenses paid or promised by the adoptive parents shall be submitted to the court.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2020 Regular Session
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