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3 plead guilty in California 'baby-selling ring'

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August 9, 2011 11:18 PM EST | AP

SAN DIEGO — Federal prosecutors in San Diego say three women have pleaded guilty for their roles in what prosecutors called a "baby-selling ring" involving babies born from surrogate pregnancies.

The U.S. attorney's office said Tuesday that Theresa Erickson, a California lawyer specializing in reproductive law, admitted to conspiracy and other charges.

Court documents alleged that she, along with two other women, paid women to travel overseas to be implanted with embryos created from the sperm and egg of donors.

Once a woman reaches the second trimester of pregnancy, prosecutors claim the defendants would "shop" the babies by falsely telling couples that a couple who had intended to adopt the baby backed out of the deal. The new couple would then be charged more than $100,000 to adopt the baby.