A woman desperate for another child but unable to adopt one forced her 14-year-old daughter to get pregnant using donor sperm, according to a report.
In a ruling reported for the first time Monday, UK judge Peter Jackson said the mother in "a wicked, selfish way" that almost defied belief.
That would seem to sum it up.
He said the woman, an American divorcee living in Britain with three adopted children, hatched the plan after she was prevented from adopting a fourth.
The scheme involved getting her oldest daughter to inseminate herself with syringes of sperm purchased online from a Denmark-based company.
Jackson said the daughter, identified only as A:
"Became pregnant at the mother's request, using donor sperm bought by the mother, with the purpose of providing a fourth child for the mother to bring up as her own."
In his ruling, the judge quoted the teenager as saying said she was shocked by the suggestion, but 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," the teenager added.
The judge said the mother also made the teenager use douches of vinegar or lemon and lime juice in hopes of increasing her chances of having a girl.
It was likely but not certain that the daughter soon became pregnant and suffered a miscarriage. After six more attempts, she had a baby boy in July 2011, at age 17.
But midwives at the hospital became alarmed by the odd behavior of A's mother. Her daughter wanted to breastfeed the baby, but her mother said:
"We don't want any of that attachment thing."
The hospital alerted the authorities, and the children were taken into foster care. The mother is now serving a five-year jail term for child cruelty.
Details of the case were heard during proceedings at the family division of the High Court over the children's future last year, but are just now going public.
They were reported for the first time after several British media organizations, including the publisher of The Guardian, challenged reporting restrictions.