Family Law

'Wicked and selfish' mom pushed teen daughter to get pregnant so she could raise baby, judge says


Thwarted when she tried, as a single mother, to adopt a fourth child, a “domineering” American woman living in Great Britain tried another approach.

She used her influence on her then-14-year-old daughter to persuade the teen to get pregnant and provide the baby she wanted, so she could raise it as her own, the Guardian reports.

The woman, who is not identified to protect the privacy of her daughter and grandchild, is serving a five-year prison sentence for child cruelty. Her daughter is thought to have become pregnant at 14, miscarried and, after repeated artificial insemination with sperm the mother ordered from a Danish company, eventually became pregnant at 16 and had a baby boy at age 17. Authorities stepped in after nurses became suspicious over the way the mother was treating the teen after the baby’s delivery.

High Court Judge Peter Jackson recently issued a judgment concerning welfare provisions for the baby and his teen mother. He described “an abiding sense of disbelief that a parent could behave in such a wicked and selfish way towards a vulnerable child,” the newspaper recounts.

It says the case has raised concern about the ease with which sperm can be obtained and the lack of effective response to concerns raised about the troubled family. Because the woman home-schooled her children, she was able to keep authorities at bay even as multiple individuals alerted child-welfare agencies. They found no significant problems, but did not investigate closely.

The daughter cooperated with her mother’s request to get pregnant, and even initially told authorities a false story about how that happened. She told investigators she did so because she loved her mom and thought “if I do this … maybe she will love me more.”

Hat tip: Associated Press.

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