A 14-year-old rape survivor who gave birth to a child in Barielly last week after losing her legal battle to abort the foetus has decided to keep the baby despite financial troubles and social stigma over out-of-wedlock motherhood.
“I really don’t know what has happened to my daughter overnight. She is now totally against the thought of giving away the child to anyone,” her father told HT on Wednesday.
Repeatedly raped by a local villager on the false promise of marriage, the girl had always insisted she was not prepared for motherhood. Her parents were also against bringing the child home, saying an unwed mother was unwelcomed in the village.
The teenage girl has been in the news in recent months for her desperate bid for medical termination of her pregnancy. The courts rejected her plea on the ground she was more than 20-weeks pregnant – the permissible limit under law for aborting the foetus. A medical panel set up by the court also rejected her appeal.
But back home after her delivery, the father said the girl has had a change of heart. “She lashed out at family members who suggested she give away the child to somebody as it will be difficult to find a groom for her,” he said.
He said his daughter was determined to bring up her child, even if it meant begging or working at a roadside tea stall. “I don’t need help from anyone. I can earn to bring up my baby. I won’t let any stranger take away my baby,” the girl reportedly told her relatives.
Dozens of couples have meanwhile got in touch with the girl’s family, offering to adopt the child. “We refused since the matter is sub judice. A gentleman offered us Rs 1 lakh while a woman was ready to pay even more,” the father said. Some of the interested couples hailed from distant places such as Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
When she went into labour the girl had to suffer the humiliation at the hands of a nurse of the local primary health centre who refused to help in her delivery after learning she was a rape survivor.
The parents of her alleged rapist, meanwhile, are demanding a DNA test on the child. They say the family is willing to accept the girl and the baby as their own once paternity of the baby was established.