A woman who told gay couples their surrogate babies had died to defraud them has gone on trial in France.

Despite commercial surrogacy being illegal in France, the woman, named only as Aurore, used the pseudonyms “little stork” and “sincere angel” to form contracts with a gay couple.

After they paid her 15,000 euros to carry the child, the woman, on reaching her due date, 21 March 2011, said the baby was stillborn. She told them the news by text message

However, the baby boy was alive, and she sold him to another gay couple in Luxembourg for another 10,000 euros.

Then in 2012, she formed another contract with a gay couple for 15,000 euros, but did the same thing and told them it had died.

She then sold the baby to a straight couple in northern France.

Arrested in 2013, the woman had already been in contact with three other couples, and was charged with fraud and attempted fraud.

The defendant testified that she had been raped by her father as a teenager, and experts said she suffered from “major emotional neglect”.

Her clients are also being tried for “incitement to the abandonment of children”.

Aurore initially acted as a surrogate for a Parisian couple in 2008, and did not charge any money, after she fell pregnant for a fifth time.

A British couple showed an interest in using her services as a surrogate in 2009, but she failed to become pregnant.

The recommended sentence from Deputy Prosecutor Jean Dematteis, is a year in jail with nine months suspended.

Dematteis said all four couples in the case should have suspended fines of 2,000 euros each.