Indian Crime Investigation Department (CID) officials escort District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) of Darjeeling district Mrinal Ghosh (R) from a police station in Siliguri on March 3, 2017. / AFP / DIPTENDU DUTTA
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Two child protection officers have been arrested for alleged links with a trafficking gang that ran illegal adoption centers in eastern India selling children to foreign couples, police said Saturday.Investigators said children aged between six months and 14 years were sold in illegal adoptions to couples from Europe, America and Asia for between $12,000 and $23,000 and taken out of the country.While India has an estimated 30 million orphans, legal adoption is rare because of strict rules governing the practice and there is a thriving illicit market.Only 3,678 children were legally adopted by couples in India between April 2015 and March 2016, according to official data.
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