Police arrested 14 people this week for allegedly helping to arrange illegal adoptions in which the mothers were reportedly paid up to $10,000 to give up their babies.
“This trafficking is prohibited by law,” said Jorge Rojas, chief of Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ).
“Even though it was a direct deal, in which the mother handed over the child, it was in exchange for money.”
The 14 – including a family court judge in Liberia, two social workers in San José and a lawyer – were released Wednesday after a judge declined to accept a prosecutor’s motion to keep them in preventive prison.
The judge and two social workers were suspended for six months, pending the results of a prosecutor’s investigation.
Police said their investigation into the adoption scheme began early in June 2006 and at least three babies have been adopted through the scheme.
None of those suspected of buying babies is a foreigner, police said.