I am a lone parent, but my child does not suffer as a result.
I am among the majority of lone parents who work and do not rely on the state to provide for us. The paltry offer of €152 a week hardly seems an incentive to anyone.
As for the opportunity to move to the top of a housing list, surely the fault lies with the Government whose ineptitude has resulted in a lack of affordable housing for years.
I find it hard to believe that anybody would be encouraged to have a child in return for housing (considering that the last minister removed the rent allowance for new mothers, suggesting they would be better staying at home with their parents).
What Dr Walsh failed to note was the 8% drop in births to single parents in the last 25 years; statistics can be used to mask and detach us from the human beings involved here. Quoting US statistics seems outrageous when we are a completely different society.
I have yet to meet one parent who would not rather have the love and support of a good partner. That is human nature, but parenting alone is by no means impossible.
However, according to Dr Walsh, I have a 72% chance of raising a murderer and 60% chance of a rapist, I’m sure many of those single girls on waiting lists for houses and free buggies are just dying to know if their pregnancies will result in either.
Parenting alone is not the problem. I will not accept the ‘menace to society’ label, and I’m damned if my child will be labelled because of the lack of a father.
There are many fine men to fulfil a role in his life; just because they don’t live under my roof does not make them any lesser role models.
I will not be criticised by you, Dr Walsh. Come visit my home; my door is open to you. See how the other half lives.