In their desperation for a child, some women are driven to do crazy things.
But a UK court ruling published this week has brought to light a story so extreme and horrifying, it beggars belief.
High Court Judge Peter Jackson revealed a woman coerced her adopted daughter, aged just 14, to impregnate herself with syringes of donor sperm.
The mother, an American woman living in England with her three adopted children, convinced her eldest daughter to inseminate herself with the syringes, which she purchased online from a Denmark-based company. She had devised the plan after being prevented from adopting a fourth child.
The court ruling quotes the teenager, who was identified as A, as saying she thought, "If I do this … maybe she will love me more."
"My mum is a very determined person and she does her best not to let anything get in her way if she wants it," she continued. The young woman was also forced to use douches of vinegar or lemon and lime juice so the chance of having a daughter was higher.
After several attempts with the syringes, she gave birth to a son in July 2011, aged 17. The judge revealed it was likely she had become pregnant earlier but suffered a miscarriage.
Authorities were alerted by midwives attending the birth, who noticed the girl's mother acting strangely. She told A not to breastfeed the baby, because "[w]e don't want any of that attachment thing."
The children were subsequently taken into foster care and the mother is now serving a five-year jail term for child cruelty.