02 June 2008

Children need a mother and a father

How can this nation expect to thrive when those who govern us do not understand that every child needs a father?

I struggle to understand how a majority of MP's could reject Iain Duncan-Smith's amendment on 20th May, seeking to ensure that children conceived through IVF have a father figure in their lives. Common-sense apart, the evidence given to the Joint Committee on the Human Tissues and Embryos (Draft) Bill, the precursor to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, was so clear.

The Centre for Social Justice, in the report to the Committee, said that the state should not deny the child’s need for a father, citing numerous social research studies which challenge the notion that deliberately planning to have fatherless children can be in their long-term interests. Some of them:

Carlson (2006): father – but not mother – involvement is a key predictor of teenage behavioural problems

Amato (1994): regardless of the quality of the mother-child relationship, the closer children were to their fathers, the happier, more satisfied and less distressed they reported being. This holds for both sons and daughters

O’Neil (2002) a longitudinal study which took a life-course perspective, showed that children living without their biological fathers are twice as likely to be in poverty and/or in poor health; teenagers without their fathers are more likely to be teen parents, offend, smoke, take drugs, play truant, face exclusions and leave school early; and young adults who grow up not living with their fathers are more likely to be unemployed, have low incomes, experience homelessness, go to jail, enter and dissolve cohabiting unions and have children themselves outside marriage.

Many eminent people had wise words to say to the Committee.

Professor Almond, Emeritus Professor of Moral and Social Philosophy at the University of Hull urged caution when tampering with something as fundamental as having parents of each sex.

Dr Andrew Fergusson of the Christian Medical Fellowship: God’s ideal intention for life is for a child to have a mother and a father; having a child is not a right.

The Bishop of Swindon, Rt Revd Dr Lee Rayfield: this Bill relates to a deliberate decision to bring a child into the world without a father.

Professor John Haldane, Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Centre for Studies for Ethics, Philisophy and Public Affairs at the University of St Andrews: 'To engineer a situation in which one of those [mother or father] is to be absent is to wrong a child'.

All this is NOT discriminating against those who are doing their best to raise a child on their own. It is simply recognising that there is increasing evidence that children thrive best in a family with both a mother and a father.

If the best interests of children is the main concern of legislation, it is our duty to recognise such differences and frame the law accordingly. We owe it to these children.

Mary Douglas


FHT said...

I completely agree. For a woman to singlehandedly decide she is to be a parent is against God and nature. Increased isolationism of man and woman can only lead to the breakdown of society. Also, who will support the child borne of a single parent when inevitably they are in financial difficulties? The answer is you and I will, although I have made the sensible choice to have children in a steady, married relationship.

billy said...

absolute crap... "we don't mean to discriminate those who are single-handedly raising a child"... but all we are saying is that your child is going to be an antisocial misfit that will forever be a pain to society...

pure ignorance... but what can you expect from the religious? they are taught not to question but believe without a doubt

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