In one of the most horrifically bizarre cases we’ve heard in a while, a woman in London, England, attempted to have her 14-year-old daughter impregnated so she could have another child. The woman, a single mother of three adopted children, wanted to adopt a fourth child, but the courts denied her request. In response, the unnamed woman attempted to have her 14-year-old daughter inseminated with donor sperm.
The initial attempt failed, but the daughter eventually became pregnant at 16, with the aid of artificial insemination. In a Mother’s Day card she gave her mother in 2009, the girl even included a photo of a positive pregnancy test, and promised her mother she would give her the baby she desired. The mother had undergone an elective sterilization in response to a medical condition she had and could not have children of her own.
It was only when the girl gave birth, at 17, that the midwives that birthed the baby became suspicious. The girl’s mother, they said, was insensitive and pushy, telling the attendant, “We don’t want any of that attachment thing.” Bizarrely, according to reports, the 17-year-old had never had sex with a partner, so remained technically a virgin, despite having given birth. According to reports, the teenage daughter attempted to inseminate herself seven times before becoming pregnant, “alone in her bedroom, using syringes of semen and douches prepared by the mother.”
Why did the daughter agree to the mother’s scheme? According to the judgement issued by the courts, the mother had an “exceptionally forceful personality,” and local authorities had visited the home on four previous occasions, though they did not remove the children. The daughter believed that “if I do this … maybe she will love me more.” High Court Judge Peter Jackson said he had “an abiding sense of disbelief that a parent could behave in such a wicked and selfish way towards a vulnerable child.” He sentenced the mother to five years in prison.
Let’s hope that both mother and daughter (as well as the mother’s other children) get the psychological counseling they both so clearly need. [Guardian]
[Pregnant belly photo courtesy Shutterstock]