Adoptions are meant to ensure the “best interests of the child’. But unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. The story of an adopted teenage girl reminds us of just how heartbreaking some adoption stories can be.
A high court judgment has found an adoptive mother guilty of child cruelty, a crime that the mother openly admitted to. She has been sentenced to a five-year prison sentence after forcing her adopted daughter to artificially inseminate herself “with the purposes of providing a fourth child for the mother to bring up as her own.”
According to the Guardian UK, the young girl, a virgin, had started artificially inseminating herself with sperm purchased by her adoptive mother at the age of 13. It is believed that she may have miscarried at the age of 14, but the inseminations continued until the girl finally became pregnant at the age of 16.
Reportedly, the mother had chosen not to carry or deliver a baby herself because of health reasons, and she’d had an elective sterilization to prevent pregnancies. While married, she adopted two babies from overseas. She adopted a third after her divorce. When she attempted to adopt a fourth child, she was denied approval. This was apparently the reason she had turned to her then 14-year-old daughter for the fourth child she desperately wanted.
“The mother resorted to the AI (artificial insemination) because she was determined to have a fourth child, and because there was no other way of achieving this,” the judge said. “[The daughter] allowed her body to be used by her mother because she loves her.”
The girl also reported having “feelings of gratitude” for her adoption, and she thought, “If I do this…maybe she will love me more.” The courts were shown a Mother’s Day list drawn up by the young girl that seemed to validate this statement. The list contained ideas of things the girl could give her mom for Mother’s Day; on it was a picture of a positive pregnancy test. Yet, despite everything – her desire for love and her gratefulness for the adoption – the girl said she didn’t really want to participate; she’d said in interviews that she simply hadn’t been “brave enough” to tell her mother no.
So, for two years, the girl inseminated herself seven times, “alone in her bedroom, using syringes of semen and douches prepared by the mother.” The mother had purchased ovulation-testing equipment to calculate her daughter’s conception windows, and had even forced her daughter to use “painful acidic douches containing vinegar or lemon and lime juice” because she thought doing so would help produce a girl – the gender the mother was the new baby would be.
When the girl had become pregnant at 16, health workers caring for the girl had been told that the pregnancy had been the result of a one night stand with a boy that had abandoned her and moved abroad. The girl had also expressed, at that time, that she wished for her mother to raise the child. But when the child was born, midwives noticed some “pushy and insensitive” behavior coming from the mother. When the girl had tried to breastfeed the newborn, the mother reportedly said, “We don’t want any of that attachment thing.” Additionally, the midwives noticed that the girl seemed reluctant to hand the child over. Then the mother tried to remove the baby from the ward. It was at that time that child protective services was called.
This hadn’t been the first call made on the mother, however. Calls had been made over the mother’s decision to homeschool the girl and her adopted siblings. While not a crime in itself, there didn’t seem to be any verification that the children were being taught. Educational welfare officers had been refused visitation to the home, so email had been the only form of communication with the mother regarding the matter of education. The judge said that “the approval [for] home education was given without anyone ever setting eyes on the children.”
There had also been calls made to social services regarding the safety and welfare of the children. In two of the calls made, a neighbor had reported that the children were being isolated, and there had been shouting and swearing coming from the house. In another, the mother’s general practitioner had raised some concerns about who was looking after the children during a mother’s hospital stay, which had lasted for a month. Despite all the concerns, social services had never found any substantial evidence that the children were in any kind of danger.
But the concern that had sent the mother over the edge involved an anonymous acquaintance. This person had written to agencies and officials to the country in which the mother had tried to adopt a fourth child; the source had reportedly raised concerns over whether or not the mother would be a suitable placement for a child. It was this letter that had ultimately resulted in her being denied approval for adoption.
While I’m often a very understanding person when it comes to the imperfections of parents, it doesn’t seem to me that this is an honest, simple mistake. There are mothers out there that love their daughters so deeply that they serve as surrogates – but the other way around…and asking a teenage girl who is a virgin to serve as a surrogate? Preposterous!
And it will always be a mystery to me as to how things like this fly under the radar, especially in adoptions. Adoptions have so much red tape, and some parents wait for years to finally find the child they want. Then there are these cases, the cases in which somehow, a person who quite obviously isn’t truly interested in (or maybe capable of) loving the child, ends up with a child.
And then, I have to wonder, why in the world would the mother even want a fourth child when it seems quite obvious that she wasn’t interested in providing the selfless love and affection that her teenage daughter, and quite possibly other two children, needed and deserved?
What’s even more mysterious is how it is that no one of authority was able to see what was happening to this young girl – a girl who will likely be forever damaged by the selfishness of her mother. While I recognize just how understaffed and overworked social workers are, it just seems that there are entirely too many cases like this one – and worse – for my liking.
We’d love to hear your thoughts. What’s your take on this story?
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