Child Sues Mom for Drinking While She Was Pregnant

Can a fetus sue? That's the question a London court will have to decide after a 7-year-old child's guardians have decided to sue the child's mother for allegedly drinking heavily during her pregnancy. Reportedly, the child has fetal alcohol syndrome as a result of mom's drinking. It's unclear what the disorder has done to the girl, but fetal alcohol syndrome can cause severe intellectual and physical disabilities.


The child's lawyers have argued that the mom, who was 17 when she was pregnant and reportedly drank several bottles of vodka and cans of beer daily, committed a criminal act by drinking so heavily while with child.

There's no doubt that the girl and her caregivers must be angry and frustrated with what the mom allegedly did -- and you can't blame them for wanting her punished somehow. For a long time the effects of heavy drinking on a fetus have been well known -- it's not like she took a particular medication and didn't understand that there could be repercussions with the baby's health.

But should a child really be able to sue a mother for what happened while in gestation?

"I'm generally not in favor of the slippery slope argument, but this is one of those few times that it really is," says Florida criminal defense attorney Janet Johnson. "I mean what about the child who says mom ate a lot of candy, now I'm diabetic?"

The list of things a mom can't/shouldn't do while pregnant gets longer and more detailed every year. Moms have it tough enough -- do we really need them worried about getting sued by the fetus who grows up to blame his or her short stature on pregnant mom's brie and sushi habit? Or maybe the fact that he or she didn't get into Harvard can all be traced back to mom not playing those Baby Einstein tapes in utero?

The London case will hinge on whether or not a fetus can be considered a "person" and have a right to sue. Talk about another can of worms just waiting to be opened!

More from The StirPregnant Women Who Use Drugs Need Help Not Handcuffs

A lower London court has ruled the child can't sue but her lawyers are appealing.

Do you think the mom should be sued?


Image via OliYoung/Flickr

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