|Google image - happy family?|
This is a risky post for me, but here goes. First, my own past. Perhaps we all become stuck in the moral climate in which we grew up. The more enlightened are perhaps able to move on. I salute those that can adapt. In my youth, becoming pregnant as a teenager was a common occurrence (it was just before the 'pill' became generally available). In England, it was kept as quiet as possible, it was considered a great shame and for the most part, babies were adopted or couples opted for marriages which were usually short-lived. There was no fashion for single mothers to keep their children and claim government grants. I remember the one girl it happened to when I was at school: naively, I didn't relate her growing stomach to pregnancy. She married the guy and it lasted five years. When I was eighteen and far away in my first year at University I became pregnant: it followed a traumatic time and an affair with a married man when I was still at high school. I fell in love with him the way other teenagers revered pop stars. My parents eventually found out, ended it and I almost immediately left home and chose a University as far away as I could get. I thought of myself as a seriously flawed person, I had almost broken up a marriage. I dated two guys and wasn't sure who was the father. My parents were completely confused, but they supported my decision to have the baby adopted. Throughout the pregnancy I was able to hide things under the 'tent' dresses we wore in 1969. Luckily, the last two months were during the long summer vacation. My mother joined me and we knitted for the baby, I gave birth and relieved - handed him over to the foster parents until the adoption could take place. I have never had a single regret, I was totally not at in a place in my life where I could contemplate motherhood and I was not in love. All along, I told myself I was acting as a surrogate for the adoptive parents who were unable to have children of their own.
At that time, the law was that children could not find out details about their birth mothers. Almost 50 years later I have been happy with my decision. That was before the Facebook generation and other social media. My son got a girl pregnant when he was 21. It was a brief relationship of 6 weeks: she had told him she was on the pill. When he confessed to us, I was so angry - he had told me her mother was a single mom after three marriages and I was wary. He had been bragging about the great salary he was earning in IT and I immediately suspected this girl was out to get him. So I blurted out my whole story (which incidentally my husband had always known).
We told my son to disentangle himself from this girl and we sent him to England before the birth. Nevertheless, he opted to take responsibility and has supported her financially every since. Now my husband tells me that the girl is now 18 and would like to meet her other family. I of course, suspect her motives. Logically, I tell myself I cannot blame the child for her parents' indiscretion - but I have no wish to meet her. My other children, especially my daughter, can't see the problem. They would like to meet. What do you think?