Forced impregnation case reviewed
A review into how a woman was able to force her adopted daughter to impregnate herself has found authorities missed opportunities to intervene.
The serious case review found that there were "four significant missed opportunities" which, had they been "handled more thoroughly and appropriately", may have led to "an earlier understanding of the grounds for serious concern".
The mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is serving a custodial sentence for child cruelty. She bought sperm from abroad on the internet and forced her daughter to artificially inseminate herself.
Before the girl gave birth to a baby boy, the local Children's Social Care Services (CSC) had been contacted on a number of occasions, the report said. An "unqualified officer" dealt with the first complaint.
The report said CSC "allowed themselves to be fobbed off" by the mother in relation to another complaint, and "worrying allegations" about the way she cared for her family had not been explored at all. It added that concerns about the woman's approach to parenting had not been challenged.
The report said that when the girl was 14, the woman took her to a GP with concerns that she might be pregnant and alleged that she been drugged and possibly raped at a party. The GP did not pass this information on to another authority.
The report found that when CSC made enquiries to the Health Visiting (HV) Service about child protection allegations, the HV Service said there were "no identified safeguarding concerns". The HV Service appears to have given "insufficient weight" to the repeated concerns due to the social profile of the family who are described as "educated, articulate, middle-class", the report said.
The author of the report visited the woman in prison and she refused to accept that any of the matters that led to her imprisonment were unlawful or inappropriate.
The Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) said it fully accepts the findings and recommendations of this report and commended the "exceptional courage" of the girl. In a statement, the LSCB said the nature of this case is "highly unusual", adding: "It seems unlikely that any of the professionals involved could have anticipated the true nature of the abuse but this does not detract from the fact that some could have been more inquisitive and responses better, prompter and more decisive."
Reporting restrictions prevent the naming of the family, the local authority and the area they lived in.