MANILA: An American woman has been charged after attempting to carry a six-day-old baby out of the Philippines hidden inside a sling bag.
Jennifer Erin Talbot, 43, managed to pass through Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport's immigration counter on Wednesday (Sep 4) without declaring the baby.
According to local media, she was about to board a flight to the United States when she was stopped at the boarding gate by Delta Airlines employees.
"They were surprised when they learned that a baby was inside the sling bag," said the head of international airport investigation division Atty Manny Dimaano.
"There was really an intention to conceal and to sneak out the baby and that is why she was able to pass through the security," he added.
Talbot had presented an affidavit, allegedly from the baby's mother, giving consent for the baby to travel to the US.
However, the document had not been signed by the mother, said the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Authorities said no government travel approval had been issued for the baby boy, who is "in good health", reported the Inquirer.
The baby, who is believed to be Filipino, will be taken to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Officials are also searching for the baby's parents, who were born in Davao City. They have been charged under a child protection law.
The NBI said the baby's 19-year-old biological mother had wanted the boy adopted and was aware Talbot intended to take the baby to the United States.
The baby's biological mother reportedly told DSWD that she wanted her baby to be adopted "so she browsed the Internet and stumbled upon Talbot", reported the Philippine Star.
Talbot has been charged for violating the Anti-Trafficking in Person's Act.