A 14-year-old was forced to get pregnant and give birth to a child by her own mother, a U.K. judge ruled, according to reports on Monday. The mother had already adopted three children but was banned from getting a fourth when she hatched the devious scheme.
Although the 14-year-old girl was forced to get pregnant by her mother, a U.S. divorcee living in the U.K., the child was not born until the girl was 17 in 2011. In three years, the teenager had failed to get pregnant five times, had a miscarriage, then finally birthed a son in July of 2011. Peter Jackson, a High Court judge, said her behavior was nothing short of "wicked."
The daughter, known only as "A" to protect her privacy, "became pregnant at the mother's request, using donor sperm bought by the mother, with the purpose of providing a fourth child for the mother to bring up as her own," Jackson said. She was sentenced to five years in prison for her crimes.
The mother purchased the syringes of sperm from a company in Denmark called Cryos International, then forced her teen daughter to repeatedly inject it and douche with vinegar and lemon juice to conceive a girl. Though the 14-year-old was apparently frightened when the "degrading" and "humiliating" process first began, she braved it for her mother's love, according to The Guardian U.K.
"The mother resorted to the AI program because she was determined to have a fourth child, and because there was no other way of achieving this," the judge said, referring to the mother's sterilization for health reasons. The daughter was not "brave enough" to decline, and "allowed her body to be used by her mother because she loves her."
When the girl had a boy in 2011, hospital officials became suspicious, as the mother didn't want the daughter to breastfeed the infant child. "We don't want any of that attachment thing," she claimed. Authorities were alerted, the mother was arrested, and the children were placed in foster care.
A court order meant the details of the case could not be discussed or reported on at the time. Recent inquiries by media allowed for the case to be reported on years afterwards.
"Nothing can change what has happened to the children in this truly terrible case," the local Safeguarding Children Board said in a statement. "It is clear that public bodies must highlight the major public policy issues that arise from this case. … The lessons from this case are already being put into practice."