A mum from North Carolina in the US is being accused of trading her one-year-old child for a 1992 Plymouth Laser.

The exchange took place last year (2018) when 45-year-old mum Alice Todd gave her one-year-old child to a couple in return for their car.

Following the discovery by police, Ms Todd is being charged with the unlawful sale, surrender or purchase of a minor. The couple that took the infant, Tina Marie Chavis, 47, and Vicenio Mendoza Romero, 52, face the same charges.

What prompted the investigation?

It is only when the child is thought to be suffering from an allergic reaction and Ms Chavis takes the child to hospital that the alarms are raised. According to reports, hospital staff notice the child has bruises and contact child protection and police to investigate.

At the time Chavis says she’s the child’s biological mother but later claims to be her adoptive mum. With no documentation to prove whether she’s the child’s mum or not, police investigate further.

After looking into the matter more deeply, police discover the child has been traded for a car a year earlier.

According to news reports, Todd, Chavis and Romero are all being held in jail on $50,000 (US) bonds. The child is now in the care of a family member.

Alice todd child traded for new car
L-R Alice Todd, Vicenio Romero & Tina Chavis

Cars & credit cards

While this report is shocking, it’s not an isolated case. Only last month a mum was arrested and later charged for selling her babies in order to pay off debts.

The mother, known as Ma, sold her twin babies for approximately $13,300 Aussie dollars to pay her credit card bills.

The baby boys were less than two weeks old when the mum sold them to separate families. According to reports, Ma used most of the money to clear her credit card debt. She uses the remaining money to buy a new phone.

Of course, there are always lesser-known details in these types of stories. Ma is only in her twenties and after the birth of her twins her husband and his family are said to have disowned her.

Indeed, both of these cases are tragic but ultimately it is the health and safety of the child or children that must take precedence. Thankfully, all the infants involved in these two reports are now in the safety and care of family.


A former Sydneysider, she turned her ideas of a sea change into reality and now lives with her family in beautiful South-West WA. A lover of yoga and travel, like most mums, she’s on a quest to create a better work-life balance. When she’s not pulling socks out from behind the sofa or sponging little hand prints off the walls, she’s in the kitchen trying to dream up exciting lunch box ideas for her three cheeky monkeys.

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