A woman in the US is accused of trading her child for a secondhand car.

The North Carolina mother has allegedly given up her one-year-old child in exchange for a couple's 1992 Plymouth Laser.

The incident is alleged to have happened in 2018.

Alice Leann Todd, 45, has been charged with the unlawful sale, surrender or purchase of a minor.

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Tina Marie Chavis, 47, and Vicenio Mendoza Romero, 53, were caring for the child, and face the same charges.

According to Brad Saintsing, from the Thomasville Police Department, police opened an investigation after Chavis took the toddler to a hospital in July this year, when she thought the girl was suffering an allergic reaction.

Hospital staff reportedly noticed the girl's bruises and contacted child protective services and police.

Chavis initially claimed to be the girl's biological mother but later said she was her adoptive mother.

However, she could not provide police with any adoption documents.

Authorities later found that the child had been swapped for the vehicle.

The adults involved have been arrested and the child is in care of a family member while the investigation continues.