While the number of women who fake pregnancy results is fairly small, this is still an issue that deserves attention.
Why Do Women Fake Pregnancy Results?
Cases of women who have attempted to fake pregnancy results include:
- Lisa Montgomery, 36, strangled eight months pregnant Bobbie Jo Stinnett, 23, in 2004 as part of a plot to steal her baby. Montgomery had faked several pregnancies in the past and wanted to raise Stinnett's child as her own. Before the murder occurred, Montgomery had managed to convince her husband she was pregnant.
- In 2005, Zlatija Jovic gained widespread attention for her fake pregnancy. The 67-year-old Serbian woman had tried unsuccessfully for many years to have a child.
- Maya "Cassandra" Mays from California was arrested for faking pregnancies in 2005 and 2007 as part of a scam to receive adoption aid.
- Shawanda Butler, a 24-year-old woman from Florida, was arrested in 2007 after faking a pregnancy to receive gifts and money from the Little Angels Adoption Agency.
- Gypsy Lawson, a 29-year-old woman from Washington, was arrested in 2007 after trying to smuggle a monkey through US customs by placing it under shirt and pretending to be pregnant.
- Lorie Galvin was sentenced to three years in prison after faking pregnancy as part of a plan to receive unjustified welfare assistance.
- Teenager Danica Esau pretended to be pregnant for four months as part of research for a documentary she was making on the importance of safe sex.
As you can see, women fake pregnancy results for a number of reasons, although the following are the most common:
- To get attention from family or friends
- To trick a male partner into staying in a relationship
- As a symptom of a deeper psychological problem, such as depression resulting from an inability to conceive
Obviously, it's not easy to continue faking a pregnancy. Early symptoms such as morning sickness and cravings can be faked with minimal effort. A padded suit can mimic a growing belly and the need for a maternity wardrobe. However, a pregnancy must eventually result in labor and delivery. Thus, this is a lie that is usually discovered fairly quickly.
Buying a Fake Pregnancy Test Online
It's true you can buy almost anything imaginable on the Internet, including a fake pregnancy test that will produce positive results every time as well as fake ultrasounds and copies of fake pregnancy medical records. Although the sellers claim these items are simply intended as tools for a practical joke, it should be noted that this is definitely not a gag that is likely to be well-received.
Confirming a Pregnancy
If you believe someone you know is attempting to fake pregnancy results, the best course of action is to accompany her to a doctor's office. A simple blood test can easily confirm hormone levels to determine whether or not a woman is pregnant. Blood tests are more reliable than home pregnancy tests and can be followed by a plan for obtaining proper prenatal care if the woman is in fact expecting a child.
Hiding a Pregnancy
On the opposite side of the fake pregnancy issue are the women who try to hide a pregnancy. In many cases, these expectant mothers are teens or young adults who are afraid they will be shunned if they admit to an unplanned pregnancy. However, some older women have also been known to hide their pregnancies as well.
Safe haven laws, known in some states as Baby Moses laws, were created to help women in this situation. Instead of harming their babies, women can simply leave their newborns at a hospital, police station, firehouse, or other safe location and not risk criminal charges. The babies left under safe haven laws are made available for adoption. In the United States, all 50 states have some form of safe haven law to help mothers who don't feel able to care for their infants.