Tuesday 24 January 2017

Mary Kenny: 'It is a different context to choose to adopt a child and then, just as the child is placed, to dissolve the marriage'

Published 15/05/2010 | 05:00

I would never wish to be unkind about the situation of single mothers. One of my oldest and dearest friends -- now, very sadly, dead -- became a single mother in unexpected circumstances and she was one of the best mothers I have ever known. Although I was married and she was single, she was infinitely better at parenting, and her son grew up to be one of the nicest, cleverest, sanest and most responsible young people that I know.

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Her circumstances were this: She was 40, divorced and involved in an on-off relationship with an interesting but emphatically uncommitted man. She was astonished when she she found that she was pregnant. (I don't care for this expression 'fell pregnant', as though the event represents the Sin of Eve.)

During two decades of marriage no pregnancy had occurred, so she assumed that she wasn't fertile. But she accepted the pregnancy as a happy stroke of luck which she would face alone. (Her own mother actually contacted me and asked me to press my friend into an abortion -- as if I would. "Imagine having a baby with an uncommitted man!" said the mother disapprovingly.)

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