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Another month, another faked pregnancy

This is, I think the third, possibly fourth, decision of the High Court  in the last two years involving “parents” who undertook fertility treatment in Nigeria, underwent some form of “labour” and returned to the UK with a child that was not biologically theirs.

London Borough of Hillingdon v AO 2014

In this one, after the DNA test showed that the baby was not biologically related to either of them, the Lagos fertility clinic told the parents that the treatment process and herbal drinks would have altered the baby’s DNA… that wasn’t an explanation that the Court accepted.

In this case, as in Coleridge J’s case (but unlike Parker J’s case) the Judge accepted that the parents had been deceived by the clinic, rather than participants in a deliberate deception.

    1. In July also the parents co-operated with the request for DNA testing, which had they known for certain would have proved they were not A’s parents they may have resisted or prevaricated about.


    1. What is striking in their evidence is that the mother attended the surgery three times in March and April when she says she was 7 plus months pregnant and approaching her due date. If the mother had known that she was not in fact pregnant this was an extraordinary action, not just once but three times. It would have been very risky because a doctor may have wanted to examine her, and the truth would have been ascertained relatively easily and quickly, and had she refused an examination the doctors may well have been sufficiently concerned to raise child protection issues with the Local Authority. Had she known she was not pregnant it would have been more prudent to stay away and if necessary forego any maternity benefits or sick leave. Or, I ask myself did she go to see the doctors with a form of arrogance and bluster thinking she could bluff and delude them.


    1. I have seen both parents in Court over a number of days. They certainly do not give the appearance of people who can assert and bluster their way through difficult situations.


  1. In the end, having considered all the evidence before me and notwithstanding the inconsistencies in their account I am driven to conclude that in some way they allowed themselves to be duped by fraudsters. They so much wanted a baby. They come from Nigeria with the heritage of traditional herbal medicine, and allowed themselves to fall under the spell of the herbalists believing what was said to the mother, and acting faithfully upon the instructions given to them. Contrary to the submissions of the Local Authority and Guardian I do not find the parents were wilfully and knowingly involved with or parties to a wrongful removal of A from her mother, or that they cynically ‘bought’ a baby. Throughout this evidence the father referred to ‘a process’ they went through. I accept there was a process, a charade in which they were unknowing players, in which they were deceived.

If anyone who reads this blog does happen to be an investigative journalist OR knows one, there’s a good story here one way or the other.  Either some Nigerian fertility clinics are a cloak and cover for illicit child trafficking which is a conspiracy with people living in England (and America) who want children  OR they are deceiving and hoodwinking in an elaborate and interesting way people who desperately want to conceive children and taking money off them before passing off a stranger’s baby as their own.   {I actually genuinely believe that it is the latter, which makes it a really good subject for hidden camera investigation}

About suesspiciousminds

Law geek, local authority care hack, fascinated by words and quirky information; deeply committed to cheesecake and beer.

3 responses

  1. Could be a third option? child trafficking (is there a licit sort of child trafficking?) and innocent people here, desperate for a family.

    I gather that there was a programme on TV last night about the effects of placebos, which may account for some of the things that were reported.

    It seems that the judge quite propertly gave himself a Lucas directions: a sensible and humane judgment, don’t you think?

  2. Ashamed to be British

    Maybe this answers the question as to where the missing stolen children by the state really are

  3. Pingback: Another month, another faked pregnancy | Childr...

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