Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Am I turning Conservative?

It comes as something of shock to realise that I have views in common with Ann Widdecombe, of all people. On this week's Any Questions on Radio 4 (which I heard on Saturday), a question was asked about the woman who had recently lost her case in the European Court of Human Rights to have a baby from embryos created using her ex-fiance's sperm. Miss Widdecombe made the excellent point that "children are not a right, but a blessing", and I found myself thoroughly in agreement.

While sympathising with those women whose biological imperative makes the desire for children an overwhelming one, one wonders if IVF is really justifiable. When there are so many children living in foster care or local authority homes, spending vast amounts of money on conceiving one's own child seems downright selfish. If circumstances arise (such as in the case above) whereby a woman or her partner is rendered infertile, surely that is something that both parties have to come to terms with, rather than resorting to desperate measures. Adoption services are notoriously picky (which seems ironic when many natural parents are seemingly far less fitted to the task of bringing up children), but why not try to adopt a child? If the couple are too old, then really, should they be attempting to have a child at all?


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