An American woman is in a United Kingdom prison after repeatedly forcing her 14-year-old daughter to inseminate herself with donor sperm, because the mother wanted another baby and could not conceive or adopt more children.
After a miscarriage at 14, the girl had a baby at 17, after regularly inseminating herself with sperm her mother purchased on the Internet, according to a report in The Guardian. The girl -- a virgin-- was apparently too scared to refuse her adoptive “domineering” mother’s request.
The mother has not been identified to protect the daughter and grandchild.
Over a two-year period, the daughter had to inseminate herself seven times, while alone in her room at home, using syringes of semen. In hopes of getting a girl, the mother forced her daughter to follow a special diet and use painful acidic douches containing vinegar or lemon and lime juice, in the belief it could affect the baby’s gender.
When she became pregnant at 16, the daughter told health workers a concocted story about spending the night with a boy who abandoned her and was now abroad. The girl also told health professionals she wanted her mother to raise the child.
The mother had already adopted three children as infants from other countries, two when she was married, and one as a single, divorced parent. A health condition prevented her from giving birth on her own so she had undergone elective sterilization.
When she had trouble adopting a fourth child, she became distraught and turned to her adopted daughter to provide her with another baby, according to court documents.
The crime was discovered in July 2011 when the girl gave birth. Midwives were alarmed at the “pushy and insensitive” mother, who didn’t want her daughter to breast-feed the baby boy, so they would not get attached. The midwives called in child protection services when the mother tried to remove the baby from the hospital.
Details of the case were kept secret and not reported until this week. The mother is serving a five-year prison sentence on child cruelty charges.
High court family judge Peter Jackson described "an abiding sense of disbelief that a parent could behave in such a wicked and selfish way toward a vulnerable child,” the Guardian reported.
The mother had isolated the family, home-schooling her children. The adoptive father of the older kids did not know where they lived and had not seen them for a decade.
Court reports reveal the daughter "allowed her body to be used by her mother because she loves her," and though she did not want to take part, she told interviewers she was not "brave enough" to refuse her mother.
The daughter -- who had no friends her age-- later told investigators she was shocked when her mother first asked her but also thought, "if I do this … maybe she will love me more.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.