British Court Says Woman isn't Smart Enough to be a Mom

Filed under: In The News

Rachel, above, could lose her child because social workers don't think she is smart enough to raise her. Image: Jenny Goodall, Daily Mail / ZUMA Press

Parenting is all about feeling dumb -- every time you forget where your car keys are or leave the house without enough diapers or completely space out on a date with friends, you wind up questioning your intelligence. We might joke about how giving birth gives us "Mommy Brain" and lowers our IQ, but for one British mother, the idea of being a dumb mom isn't funny.

24-year-old Rachel has lost custody of her three-year-old daughter, Baby K, because social workers in Nottingham, England, have determined that she is "too stupid" to care for her child. Baby K, who was 13 weeks premature and had serious health issues, has been in foster care since leaving the hospital as an infant. The toddler is now on the verge of adoption and Rachel (whose last name is being withheld for legal reasons) has had her visitations reduced to one 90-minute period each month. If the adoption goes through, Rachel's contact will be even further limited. "If she's adopted," Rachel tells the "Daily Mail," "I've been told I won't be allowed any contact with her, apart from sending her one letter or card a year, and I won't be able to use the word daughter or mother in them. So what will I be to her? A pen pal?"

Rachel's IQ, according to tests done last year, is 71; the average adult IQ falls between 90 and 109. A psychiatrist hired by Rachel concluded that "There was no evidence of any disturbances in her thought perception. Her moods were appropriate. Rachel did not show any evidence of abnormal mental preoccupation. She was well orientated and her cognitive functions were intact." A court-appointed psychologist, on the other hand, determined that Rachel's intellect would cause a "high level of risk to the child." The court also claims that Rachel has "learning difficulties" that make it impossible for her to appropriately care for Baby K.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.