Tuesday 16 January 2018

Parenting is about children, not about selfish adults

Pablo Picasso became a father in his sixties.
Pablo Picasso became a father in his sixties.

John Masterson

Most days, work begins with a chat about the morning papers. Occasionally a story gets a good discussion started. The recent case of a 72-year-old woman having a baby with her 79-year-old husband really got us going. They have been married for 49 years, and this is their first child, the result of two years of IVF treatment.

Being sceptical by nature, I wondered was it even true. Most of us found it in some way distasteful. I found the same reaction through the day. A very smart and liberal woman I know went on a rant and used all of the following words - ghastly, atrocious, vile, disgusting, selfish, abhorrent, ridiculous, disgraceful, repulsive, offensive, abominable, reprehensible and unprincipled. I enjoyed that text.

Most of us are delighted when a couple who want children are able to do so with the help of modern science. We don't care whether they are heterosexual or homosexual. We don't bat an eyelid when men in their 60s, from Picasso to Ron Wood, father children with much younger women. A least the child is likely to reach adulthood with a parent.

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