Mother steals identity from other pregnant mum to stop child from going into care
Woman gave hospital staff an identity she had taken from a social networking site in a bid to stop authorities from taking her fourth baby into care
Heather Saul is a digital reporter for The Independent, currently working on the People desk. She has written news and features across a number of topics, paying particular attention to the activities of Isis and events in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Tuesday 11 March 2014
A pregnant woman used the identity of another woman which she had taken from a social networking site when she was giving birth, to stop authorities from removing the child from her care.
The unidentified mother booked in under a different identity and was able to leave Walsall Manor Hospital with her newborn baby in August, the BBC has reported. The child has since been removed from her care.
The woman, whose three other children had been removed from her and placed in care, gave birth under the identity of the other mother, who was booked in at a neighbouring hospital’s trust.
She did not have hospital records with her upon her arrival and told staff they were with the community midwife.
A midwife contacted the neighbouring hospital to confirm the pregnancy details and checks were made against the other woman's identity.
The incident was only spotted when the mother-to-be whose identity had been misused visited her GP while she was still pregnant, and discovered her records showed she had already given birth on 31 August.
The Walsall Healthcare Trust said it has now tightened its procedures for when women in labour are admitted and then discharged. Those who arrive without their notes will need to have their identification checked by hospital, police and social services.
Richard Kirby, the trust's chief executive, told the BBC: "The incident related to an identity theft by an individual using our maternity service. Although this is a very rare occurrence, the learning from this incident has been of value across the organisation."
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