An American woman living in the U.K. forced her 14-year-old adopted daughter to get pregnant via insemination because the woman was denied any further adoptions, previously confidential court records reveal.
The adoptive mother, who was not identified, is serving five years in prison for child cruelty after she admitted to forcing her adopted daughter to inseminate herself
so she could get pregnant, and the mother could raise the child as her own, according to the Guardian. The court documents, just recently unsealed, detail the abuse, which reportedly happened between 2008 and 2011.
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The daughter "became pregnant at her mother's request, using donor sperm bought by the mother, with the purposes of providing a fourth child for the mother to bring up as her own," the judgment states. "The AI [artificial insemination] program was planned when A [the daughter] was 13, began when she was 14 and ended when she became pregnant with D [her child] at age 16."
The woman in question had already adopted three children as babies from abroad, twice when she was married and once as a single parent after her divorce. She reportedly chose not to give birth herself because of a health condition and instead underwent elective sterilization. The mother was distraught when her attempt to adopt a fourth child was denied approval.
Authorities learned of the scheme after midwives alerted them that the mother was "pushy and insensitive" at the hospital and tried to prevent the daughter from breastfeeding the newborn, saying, "we don’t want any of that attachment thing."
The daughter, who had no friends her own age, later told investigators she was "shocked, pretty shocked" when her mother first asked her but also thought, "if I do this … maybe she will love me more." In agreeing to inseminate herself, she said, "feelings of gratitude for my adoption influenced how I behaved."
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The case raised important issues about international adoptions and the trafficking of gametes (the mother reportedly bought sperm online from Denmark).
"The lessons from this case are already being put into practice as the relevant agencies are starting to implement its draft findings," wrote the local Safeguarding Children Board in the judgment.
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