Parents in baby case were seeking second child

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The Independent Online
A BRITISH couple desperate to adopt a second Romanian baby were last night under arrest.

Adrian and Bernadette Mooney, of Wokingham, Berkshire, already have an adopted daughter and returned to find her a 'sister'.

Last night police in Bucharest said they were being held on a 30- day arrest warrant after being detained trying to take a five-month- old baby hidden in a car across the border with Hungary.

Police are investigating whether they are linked to a child-smuggling ring. The Bucharest district chief prosecutor, Emil Dinu, declined to give details until charges were formalised later this week.

The British consul in Bucharest visited the couple and an embassy spokesman said: 'They are as comfortable as can be expected. Their principal problem is what is going to happen to them.'

In 1992, Romania brought in a new adoption law setting strict rules to stem a baby trafficking boom that followed the collapse of Communist rule in 1989. Under that law, people involved in child trafficking can be jailed for up to five years.

Mrs Mooney, 38, and her husband, 40, have an adopted daughter, Grace, three. A friend said they have tried all avenues to adopt in this country. They had sought a child in Romania but had to wait clearance. 'They were out there and time was running out.'