The actions of an unmarried woman in Newcastle who has had seventeen consecutive children taken into care over the last 20 years have persuaded childcare charity Barnado’s to release funds to help her further. Barnado’s explained that it was likely that the woman had issues of mental health, domestic abuse, a chaotic lifestyle and possible substance abuse.

The record figure came to light after a Freedom of Information request to Newcastle City Council, though it is known there are many vulnerable women who have multiple children placed in care hours after they are born.

Media criticism of the authorities has included their failure to make it clear that the right to procreate must be balanced by the ability and willingness to look after the children created.

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