Mother Forced Teen Daughter to Become Pregnant to Fulfill Dream of Having Fourth Child
A woman in the United Kingdom has been imprisoned for five years after being found guilty of child cruelty. According to court documents, the woman, who has not been identified out of fear for her children and grandchildren, forced her teenaged daughter to become pregnant so that the woman could have a fourth child.
According to the Guardian, the woman had never biologically had her own children because of a health problem, and eventually was medically sterilized. With her husband, she adopted two children; after her divorce from her husband, she adopted a third child.
When her plan to adopt a fourth child was thwarted, she concocted a plan. She asked her then-13-year-old daughter to become pregnant via artificial insemination, using sperm that the mother bought over the Internet. The daughter A. said that she agreed to the idea in the hopes that it would make her mother love her more. The daughter, A., was likely briefly pregnant at the age of 14, then had a miscarriage.
NBC News reports that A. used syringes to artificially inseminate herself six more times before becoming pregnant at the age of 16. Her mother also made her stick to a special diet and douche herself using painful concoctions of vinegar and lemon juice because the mother wanted a girl and believed that the remedies would influence the gender. At 17, A. gave birth to a boy, D.
Reuters reports that midwives became suspicious about the mother's suggestions shortly after childbirth. One of the midwives suggested that A. breastfeed the child, but her mother said that she did not want "any of that attachment thing". The midwives also noted that A. was reluctant to let her mother hold the new baby. They eventually called in child protection services when the mother tried to remove the newborn from the hospital ward.
The judge expressed concern that anyone could buy sperm from Cryos, a sperm bank based in Denmark. There is no law in the United Kingdom that would prevent anyone from purchasing sperm online and performing insemination without medical supervision.