Mum has nine kids taken away

A MOTHER addicted to having children has seen all nine taken into care because of her inability to break away from her controlling ex-husband.

Six of the children have been taken away for adoption, two are in long-term foster care and yesterday a judge ordered the youngest child to be taken away from the mother and made available for adoption.

The Appeal Court in London was told the woman from Wellingborough, who cannot be named for legal reasons, felt compelled to get pregnant every two years.

The woman's ex-husband has a history of temper tantrums and was described by Lord Justice Wilson as "a Svengali-like character with a complex, controlling and self-centred personality".

The judge said: "While the couple were together, children in their care had suffered substantial neglect. He had a violent temper and their lack of a supporting social network only increased their dependence on each other."

One expert who had examined the youngest girl had described her as "extremely troubled" and said she had shut down her emotions, disabling herself from forming normal relationships.

The expert also said the mother seemed compelled to get pregnant every time the youngest child became about two-years-old.

The judge said the mother had tried to break away from the father's influence and had only managed to keep her youngest daughter for her first six years of life after she insisted their relationship was finally over.

The couple divorced in 2005 and the mother lived with the little girl while the father was absent from the family home. However, the mother eventually allowed him back into her life.

There was an incident in which he banged a table and shouted at the little girl, who fled to her room.

After that, the mother told the former husband to leave, but he again managed to get himself back in favour.

The judge said: "The couple have not permanently separated and continued their relationship, at least off and on."

In May, a Northampton County Court judge issued a permanent care order and freed the little girl for adoption. She had a "goodbye visit" with her mother later that month, since when there has been no direct contact between them.

The father argued the adoption order amounted to a violation of his human rights and claimed Northamptonshire County Council had not tried hard enough to keep the girl with her natural family.

He also argued there had been no proper assessment of their parenting skills. However, Lord Justice Wilson, sitting with Lord Justice Rix, said the family's problems lay within the personalities of the parents and the decision to take the seven-year-old away for adoption was "impregnable".