Pregnant Again, the Mother With Five Children in Care Who Vows to Keep Having Babies Until She Gets a Council House
Andy Dolan, Daily Mail (London), November 22, 2010
An unemployed benefits claimant whose five children were all taken into care has vowed to continue having babies until she is granted a council house.
Lavine Samma, 27, is now pregnant with her sixth child and fully expects the baby to be taken from her by social services at birth, just like the last three infants.
Since 2002, the feckless mother has given birth to three boys and two girls by three different men and doesn’t even know who the father is of one.
She does not work and rakes in around £600 a month in benefits.
But Miss Samma claimed yesterday that it was her ‘human right as a woman to have children’ and vowed to continue falling pregnant until the local authority moved her from her 16th floor inner-city council flat to a ‘proper council house’.
When the Daily Mail called just before 11am yesterday Miss Samma was just about awake but still in bed.
Nevertheless, she quickly warmed to her theme.
‘I’m not a priority for a house because I don’t have children with me, but if I had children in my care I would be’, she said.
‘If they keep taking them away from me I will just keep having them. Again and again and again!’
Miss Samma, who lives in a tower block in Newtown, Birmingham, with Jamaican asylum-seeker boyfriend Damien Sewell, lost her first two children–a girl and a boy–in March 2006, when social services were tipped off that she had been neglecting the elder child, then aged three and a half.
Bruises and scratches were discovered on the girl’s back and the following year the mother was found guilty of neglect.
She was jailed for a year and released on licence after six months.
The girl’s father left her after the birth and the couple divorced. When the second child was born in 2005, Miss Samma believed Mr Sewell was the father, but a DNA test revealed he was not. The children are now in the custody of a relative.
Since then, the couple have had three children together. All have been removed within hours or days of their birth by social services.
Miss Samma said she admitted neglecting her first two children but claimed that should not stop her from having more children in the future.
She said her ultimate aim was to ‘be a mum–which is my right’, rather than to simply get a council house.
But she admitted that being rehoused as a result would be a ‘happy side-effect’ of being allowed to parent a child.
She claims £96.72 a fortnight in Jobseekers’ Allowance and £87 per week housing benefit.
But although she claims to be looking for work, she said she struggles because of depression, as well as the fact that she is pregnant.
She met Mr Sewell, 31, in 2002 when he came to England on a holiday visa and later claimed asylum.
The couple said he is unable to claim benefits but refused to comment further on his immigration status.
It is thought he is still waiting for a final decision on his claim.
Miss Samma has lived in her one-bedroom council flat since she was 18.
But she said she is determined to leave the property because it is riddled with mould.
Mr Sewell said: ‘The whole system is corrupt’, he moaned. ‘The courts and the council, they are all against us.
‘I know they will try and take this latest baby from us, but that won’t stop us having more.’
Last night a spokesman for the TaxPayers’ Alliance said the case ‘shows why our welfare system needs so desperately to be reformed’.
He added: ‘This woman has little incentive to go and find work, to get on in life, or to pay for her own housing, because the state is providing all of this for her.
The real losers in this sorry tale are the children . . . but it is unfair for taxpayers to be asked to support people who have large numbers of children, and no intention of providing for them.’
A Birmingham City Council spokesman would not comment on individual cases but added: ‘The welfare of a child is always the prime consideration of the local authority whenever a decision is taken to place them in care.’