Letter: Adoption for unloved children

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The Independent Online
Sir: The disingenuousness of Cardinal Hume and the Pro-Life lobby towards abortion is that they seem to have no concern for the children who would otherwise have been born, despite the Cardinal's assertion that "the frightening problem of children born without love or commitment in unstable situations must be addressed" ("A manifesto for moral and spiritual problems", 6 May).

I have been a GP in a fairly favoured area (the Isle of Wight) for over 30 years, and in that time have seen many children born "without love or commitment".

A teenage girl has an illegitimate baby by a boyfriend who after a few months gets fed up with a crying baby and leaves. A while later a new boyfriend moves in and a second baby is born, but he too leaves in time and a third boyfriend moves in.

Now a third baby arrives by which time baby number one is aged four or five and is behaving as all young children do. This angers boyfriend number three who proceeds to abuse the youngster who lives in an atmosphere of fear and hatred, often abetted by the mother. What kind of a future has he or she? Research has shown that abused children turn out to be abusive parents.

I would entirely endorse the Cardinal's view on abortion if he and others of his opinion would couple it with the demand that all children born into such a situation should be compulsorily put up for adoption. This would be in the best interests of the child who has no choice; the parents have made theirs.

There is a shortage of children for adoption and there are many childless couples who are longing to give an unwanted baby a secure and loving home.

I agree that this policy is draconian, but these children are exposed to a draconian existence. Are we really to ignore their plight? This policy, apart from giving these children the best chance in life, would to some extent obviate the need for the NHS to spend a large amount of money on assisted fertilisation, and would give untold pleasure to otherwise childless couples.



Isle of Wight