After writing "lengthy" sales pitches advertising her children, one woman from Victoria, Australia is being investigated for posting them to the Internet auction site eBay, the Herald Sun reported.
The woman was selling her son and daughter, both under 10, to the highest bidder, per ABC News.
According to the report, a member of the public brought the ad to the police's attention, who found that several people had already placed bids on the auction. Upon questioning, the mother told authorities that the post was a joke and charges were not pressed.
Victorian Child Safety Commissioner Bernie Gear said of the incident: "Children should not be used as the butt of jokes and she needs to find something more productive to do with her time and needs to wake up to herself."
A writer for the parenting website Mommyish recognizes that sometimes, parents can feel like they're in over their heads. However, she said jokes like this one go too far:
"Is this woman just stupid or was this act simply a cry for help? Plus, if she was truly overwhelmed, how could she possibly find the time to write such a lengthy sales pitch? Those poor children. Even if it's nothing more than a joke, they’re still at the butt of it all – and there’s nothing funny about feeling unwanted."
"We need to get to the bottom of why she did this," a police spokesman said. "Is there a mental illness, is the mother not coping or was it simply a joke? I don't recall another case like this."
A few years ago, a girl from England made headlines by placing an ad to sell her "moaning grandma" on the site, receiving bids up to almost $2,000.