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Nigerian Couple Granted Custody of Baby in the UK after DNA Tests Prove They Aren’t Biological Parents



A Nigerian couple in the UK who could not have children, have been granted custody of a baby born in Nigeria, despite tests showing they were not the child’s biological parents.

The court’s ruling has created an uproar among charities, child and human rights groups who claim their story was a “charade” and might encourage trafficking. This is partly because of the manner in which the woman told the court she conceived and had a baby.

The couple who live in London but cannot be named for legal reasons failed to conceive a child despite undergoing IVF treatment in the UK.

BBC reports that they were said to be “desperate and distressed” after failed attempts to conceive and then travelled to Nigeria in 2010 where the woman began fertility treatment at a private clinic. She told the court that when she returned to the clinic months later, she was sedated. When she regained consciousness she was handed a baby and told she had given birth.

On her return to London, a GP raised concerns. The child was taken into care and a DNA test proved the child was not related to the couple. They then launched legal proceedings to get custody.

But despite the fishy story about her conception and delivery, a High Court Judge, Mr Justice Coleridge said the pair were victims of the “most appalling scam“. He described them as “people of the highest calibre and of complete integrity” adding that he was “deeply impressed by their humanity“.

On Thursday he awarded the parents custody of the child.

This story sounds quite unbelievable. A woman claimed that she was tricked by a doctor into believing she had given birth while sedated and a Judge lets them go. She didn’t mention she was pregnant at any time, just sedated and then,   here comes the baby. “When she regained consciousness she was handed a baby and told she had given birth.”

Is this really possible? It seems like the couple just lied through their teeth to the judge and he decided to let them have custody of the child. He probably thought it was in the best interest of the child for him or her to remain withe the couple, but I have to agree with the human rights groups that say it would encourage child trafficking. Surely this child must have its mother somewhere…

Just as Andy Elvin, the chief executive of Children and Familes Across Borders told the BBC “These unscrupulous people will exploit people for vast amounts of money. Behind every one of these children lies an actual birth mother. She has been coerced, she may have been kidnapped or raped. These children are not given up willingly.”

What are your thoughts on this story?

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Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. ihuoma

    October 20, 2012 at 7:00 am

    Nigerians don carry their juju story enter UK. The doctor was prolly a native doctor that’s my only explanation for being sedated and waking up with a baby -_-

    • anon

      October 20, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      Its not about jazz please. Have you seen children in foster care in the UK? despite it all I feel in the best interest of the child he/she is better off with the couple, remember other facts played in. I know some couple in Nigeria with children that have used the same means.I am not in support of this however this is whats happening . They are sedated and then there is even a lady who at the “delivery” requested twins a boy and a girl.

    • ...just saying

      October 22, 2012 at 10:34 am

      Surely this child must have “its” mother somewhere…… Bella, why would you refer to the baby as an item? Even pets are referred to by their gender and not it as if they were things…..

  2. Tunji

    October 20, 2012 at 7:15 am

    Ridiculous! There’s a lot to this story. The “Doctor” and Couple are culpable. The baby could remain in their custody while the court unravel the mystery. Letting them go as if they have not committed a crime is not acceptable

  3. Catherine

    October 20, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Wow! This year while hunting for a fertility clinic my aunt who waited 11years for her baby told me a similar story warning me to be careful where I go. She has been everywhere looking for a child and someone took her to this place where the lady insisted that part of the treatment means you have to give birth in her hospital. Her friend went through the process she was given herbs , her period ceased and her tummy grew but whenever she went for a scan in other hospitals they couldn’t see the ‘baby’. She went in to have her baby and all she can remember was that she was sedated and when she woke up she was handed twins! She was in a little pain and she bled for about two days . She knew there was something fishy but she had been given two lovely babies so she dIdnt care. I actually feel sorry for the couple , sometimes when you are desperate and someone offers you a solution you tend not to ask too many questions.

    • omobababolowo

      October 22, 2012 at 7:24 am

      Are you kidding me? this is actually sad. Criminals roaming as nurses and doctors. I honestly dont blame the couple. Its the fertility clinics stealing babies and handing them over to the highest bidder. in the case above, i am sure the judge didnt want to deal with finding placement for the kid in U.K or even deporting the baby back to Nigeria. So he just let the couple get away with it. Now i know why people just steal babies anywhere like the church story etc. #prayforNigeria

  4. i no send

    October 20, 2012 at 9:23 am

    she must have come here to buy a baby for 500k or so [which has been going on for years in nigeria] and then when there was trouble told a bold faced lie to the judge….a trafficker in nigeria doesn’t need to go thru all that stress to sedate etc u jus give them money and viola! your baby will be ‘born’

  5. Partyrider

    October 20, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Very fishy I must say..
    If you are not pregnant how can you conceive ? She obviously wasn’t pregnant if not she would have stated it,so just like that you wake up and you are given a baby and you take the child home gladly? I don’t buy her story.
    The clinic should be looked into and the doctor should be questioned..
    What if this child was stolen from the birth mother,what if the birth mother is out there looking for her child?

  6. eni

    October 20, 2012 at 10:57 am

    I believe her! this like this happens….its only pple dt r ingnorant of the 419 pregnancy scheme in dis country dt will disbelieve her! if u do not believe read about dis scam in vanguard newpaper (i tink it was vanguard about it sometime ago).

  7. Phantom

    October 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I’m speechless

  8. Amber

    October 20, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    How can one have a baby while sedated?…even with cs sef,they hardly give general anaesthetics.O ga o.the baby go still grow up one day and find out.and the original mama go come searching for her daughter

  9. eni

    October 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    i believe d story

  10. revivedafrikana

    October 20, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    I believe they paid someone for that baby, but hey if they are good parents why not?
    Biological parents are mistreating their own children and don’t deserve to have them

    check out my blog

    • dakoru

      April 30, 2013 at 1:35 pm

      They didn’t pay any body for the baby. The clinic is still existing in Port Harcourt, still scamming and defrauding desperate women. Government should look into this. If anyone can help, please help stop this scam.

  11. consequences 101

    October 20, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    see this is what i dislike about Nigerians with their stupid story, and second the judge what was he smoking to let them go easily. I have a cousin who found out that he was a stolen sold baby upon his father’s death at the age of 25 in 2008. For my cousin his whole identity is screwed up, he was born in aba teaching hospital by a first time mother as a twin, and one of the nurses stole him and sold to my aunt who then brought him to the states as her own biological child. He grew up as a yoruba man in tradition and everything, but the rub, he was born to a family from a whole different background. his story is that of many children and might be the story of this child. What i dont understand is why the judge didnt atleast check and see if this child had been stolen and sold. Maybe the actual mother is somewhere crying about a child lost or believed to be dead. Do they not know about baby snatching that happens in nigeria, and i thought the uk was better that nigeria’s joke of a legal system. For my cousin he is still dealing with the psychological part of the revelations and has started to look for his actual family.I know he has tried to find his family, but unfortunately the nurse that sold the child is now dead. His mom tried to explain that she was desperate, and needed to stay in her husband’s house. The story we were told by his mom was that she couldnt have children and her husband people were threatening to forcefully kick her out and replace her with another woman. She said she wasnt ready to lose all the wealth she had built with her husband for 15 good years, so she got the idea to come back to naija after she faked a pregnancy and told her husband that she had to go home to get some traditional medicine so that the baby will survive. Her husband trusted her and because she had had 5 miscarriages in the past in the usa he allowed her. She told us that she knew a friend who was a nurse who told her she could help her. So we are told that when she came back to houston,tx, she brought a baby boy, and her husband was estatic, and a few years later she actually gave birth to a baby girl, after 19 years of marriage. The geneology of the boy was kept a secret until his father’s death and elders in the family who wanted part of the father’s wealth wanted everyone to get a dna test before they can inherit, which the boy innocently willingly did without his mother knowing, but to his amazement he wasnt one of them, neither mother or father, so he asked if he was adopted, and his mom swore up and down she was his mother, but he showed her the test results and thats when she broke down and told the whole story. Till today all he knows is that he has a twin and was delivered in aba teaching hospital to a teenage mother. He is still doing his research. So imagine this could be this child’s faith living on a borrowed identity. I will really suggest that the human rights people keep pursuing this case, so that at least we can find out if this child is stolen.

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      October 20, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      Damn! For real? Your cousin must be going through hell. Damn…

  12. debdara

    October 20, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    GOD will now allow barrenness in our lives because its a very sad situation and people go by any means to get Children. some people consent to be surrogate mothers but are not allowed to know who the children are going to stay with… don’t blame them please.

  13. habba!

    October 20, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    the baby is going to have a better life in London! period

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      October 20, 2012 at 9:00 pm

      That’s quite a naive, simplistic point of view you’ve got there, Daddy O.

    • Anon

      October 20, 2012 at 10:09 pm

      And you can guarantee this because you are …..????.?? It’s ignorant to think that the fact that you live in London or the Uk rather than Nigeria automatically guarantees you a better life. Wake up and smell the strong smelling coffee abeg!

  14. Bisi

    October 20, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    This obviously isn’t the full story. When it’s not magic, haba!

  15. Lyn

    October 20, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    @Haba that is so ignorant.If that was your baby stolen at birth, would you not want your child with you, or better still have the option of deciding whether to give the child up for adoption or not. Clearly DNA proves that the baby was not the couples and yet the racist judge gave them custody, would he render such a quick judgement if it was a caucasian baby? the answer is no. He does not want british taxpayers including himself having to pay for that child in foster care, hence custody was granted to the nigerian couple. This is very worrying, because this will open up a floodgate of baby traffickers and kidnapping of young girls for baby factories in nigeria. God help us.

  16. cannotsay

    October 20, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    I really believe this people’s story,this scam is happening in Nigeria, and she might not be aware. It happened to one of my family memebers and it was devastating, they actually trick you into believing you gave birth oh!so pple have to be careful of wherever they go

  17. Nok10

    October 21, 2012 at 7:15 am

    With regards to the scam comments, could you all break it down for us. The women would have to have a baby bump for them to ‘deliver’. So they are given some sort of concuction to make their tummy grow, na wa o!

  18. Expectant Mother

    October 21, 2012 at 10:56 am

    This isn’t how this story was told on BBC news. I watched on Friday night and was shocked.
    The news did mention that her tummy grew, maybe after given concoction or some pills to blow up her tummy which created an illusion of a baby bump.
    For all you know she must have actually believed she was pregnant, when you are desperate for something you will believe what you wish for even when you have doubt.
    May God not let us all be in a desperate situation

  19. mujer casada

    October 22, 2012 at 4:24 am

    If you are from Port Harcourt, that story is very familiar. There is a woman in Obigbo who was running a clinic with similar stories. People said they would go there and she will give them stuff to drink. After drinking it, their abdomens would actually enlarge a bit. They would return months later at the woman’s behest and they would pass out after being given a concoction. The women would wake up and find out and be handed a baby. Someone I know went there and refused to do the treatment because she knew someone who went there to have 8 babies. None of the babies look like their mama or dad. Also, her friend was never able to breastfeed and told her that she did not have any bleeding at all associated with childbirth. WHen my friend went for treatment, she observed a couple of teenager kind girls in the compound. Some were pregnant. When she enquired about them, the woman asked her to take her money and not return if she did not trust her services. The woman in my opinion was running a baby factory (illegally) and desperado women go there and force themselves to believe the lies so that they can feel like mothers. I heard sometime last year or year before last that the govt had arrested the woman.

  20. Tiki

    October 22, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    This story sounds very incomplete. No judge can be that stupid. I’m going to get the real version elsewhere. BN I hope you didn’t edit the facts you got, to make them sound more sensational.

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