The Irish Times published a number of adoption related stories in recent months, one about how new legislation has affected current domestic adoptions followed by a more personal piece regarding three women who gave their children up for adoption. But it was a letter from one Father Con McGillicuddy which has caused me to brood a little on the subject. Father Con thought it ‘sad’ that women who did not want to be mothers chose abortion when there are – as he put it:
“There are many pro-life agencies such as Cura available to help women with unwanted pregnancies, providing guidance and facilities towards bringing their children to birth; children who could then be adopted by couples who would give them a happy life.”
All of which is laudable, except for one thing. For those women who travelled to the UK it is not just about what to do with a baby at the end of the pregnancy, but that they travel because they do not wish to be pregnant in the first place. They do not wish to be pregnant for 40 weeks, or go through an unwanted labour or deliver a child and hand it over to strangers.
While I have nothing but sympathy for any woman or man longing yet unable to have a biological child, it is extremely questionable to suggest that women in a crisis pregnancy automatically become incubators for the childless. And while I take no umbrage with the sentiment behind what he wrote and agree that we ought to be supportive of women in crisis pregnancies, I feel we ought to be supportive of ALL of their decisions. I certainly think it is shameful that we as a nation are so eager to stick our heads in the sand while we export our problem to the UK. Five thousand women. Five thousand.
Father Con is right, it is sad commentary, but I doubt we feel that for the same reasons.