Tuesday 25 September 2018

Dear Mary: My one-night stand claims she is pregnant and is demanding money

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Mary O'Conor

Q: My life has been destroyed lately by a woman with whom I had a one-night stand some weeks ago. I wore protection and did everything safely. I didn't enjoy it but pretended I did. I don't like her and wished to hear no more from her.

She then texted me to say that she was four days late and she was going to see the doctor and I'd better own up.

This text destroyed me within seconds. I texted that there was no way she could be pregnant.

Then after a week of being sick with worry and not sleeping or eating she texted "I'm pregnant" and said she didn't want it and I could have it when it was born or do a DNA test. Then she texted saying she needed money upfront to get rid of it and she was going to London to do it.

I rang her and suggested we talk and go to Positive Options counselling. She refused this and said she needed the money for her trip and that she would go on her own.

She called again and said I must pay up fast and that she was going with a friend. I suggested I would go too and bring my close friend with me and she said no that it would be a waste of my time.

She kept on texting saying she needed the money fast. She found out it would be €900 and I should give her half of that. I telephoned her to get it all straight in my mind but she just kept shouting and threatening that if I didn't pay up quickly she would change her mind and turn up on my doorstep in nine months time with the baby and I would have to pay for it for the rest of my life.

I told my close friend in desperation and she thinks that this girl is lying and blackmailing me.

I have agreed to pay her €200 to book her flight and another €250 to complete the trip. My friend told me to hold off paying her but I want it all sorted.

I'm destroyed and stressed out to bits over all this and it has been the worst week of my life. I know it was very safe sex.

What I want to know is have I the right to have her tested officially for pregnancy and have I the right to demand to know who her doctor is and find out from him.

I'm an ashamed, sick and worried man. I will never want another woman in my life. Ever.

A: I can see how stressed you are by all of this. You wrote me a couple of emails, one of them timed at 2.30am so it is certainly affecting your life.

It may be that by now events have progressed and you have paid the money, but I think it is important to print your query anyway. Other people reading your problem may find themselves in a similar situation.

Your first instincts were correct as you quickly came to the realisation that you didn't like this girl and now you know why.

You did all the right things when she texted you with her 'news'. You called her to discuss it, you suggested Positive Options, which is a crisis pregnancy counselling service, and you suggested you would accompany her to London if that was what she wanted.

Her reaction to everything was to say no which leads me to believe that she was indeed trying to blackmail you.

There are very few options open to people who find themselves in your situation. A doctor has a duty to keep everything between himself and his patient confidential and so would not be permitted to divulge any information to you. The girl could get somebody who was actually pregnant to do a pregnancy test so that might not be accurate either, and a DNA test can only be done in Ireland after the baby is born.

You have to be very strong and not give in to her demands for money. If it is blackmail then she is breaking the law and you should say this. Tell her that you don't believe she is pregnant, but that if she is you insist on going to see somebody on the Positive Options list of counselling services (FreeText List to 50444, www.positiveoptions.ie) where she can have another pregnancy test and insist that you have to be there as well. If it is a positive result then you will take advice as to what is the best thing to do - fathers as well as mothers should have the right to choose.

If you have already parted with your money then you will have to put it all down to experience - one that you will always remember with horror.

I know that right now you firmly believe that you will never want to be with another girl. But in time I hope you will change your mind because the number of wonderful kind and caring girls out there far outweigh the nasty ones.

You can contact Mary O’Conor anonymously by visiting www.dearmary.ie or email her at dearmary@independent.ie or write c/o 27-32 Talbot St, Dublin 1. All correspondence will be treated in confidence. Mary O’Conor regrets that she is unable to answer any questions privately

Sunday Independent

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