‘I often think that smug mums and dads will soon insist on pushchair lanes so that they
don’t have to bother with us childless pavement pests’
When David Cameron came to power he pledged to lead the most family friendly government in history. He meant, of course, a heterosexual family unit consisting of a man, a woman, and their own biological children.
But I feel compelled to ask - why should anybody, on an already over-populated planet, merit verbal or practical support for what, in the end, can only be described as a selfish lifestyle choice? Yes, selfish. They do not decide to have babies so that one day they will care for the likes of me in old age - they do it with only themselves in mind.
Yet just think of how much validation, support, and access to public resources they get. And how that contrasts with what can be expected by those who for whatever reasons, including that of choice, remain childless ... and who, in the fullness of time, need to care for ill, old, or disabled dependents.
Those in traditional family units are allowed paternity and maternity leave, automatic benefits, instant access to specialist medical care, tax relief... and public admiration. They’re allowed to board flights first, have ‘family friendly’ carriages on trains, and jump the queue at doctors’ surgeries. I often think that smug mums and dads will soon insist on pushchair lanes so that they don’t have to be bothered with childless pests on the pavement!... and if I see one more ‘baby on board’ car sticker, I swear I shall scream.
Now think again about those who have the thankless task of looking after sick, aged, or disabled dependents. They have to beg for intervention, wait years for benefits, fight for every supportive gesture, and if they expect sympathy for the stress they inevitably feel... forget it. And as for public admiration....
Why is it, in our proudly modern western society, that so many people desperately want their own babies? Some who are unable to conceive even become suicidal. And the courts are clogged with cases about the right to IVF on the NHS, and who owns what sperm.
But if these folk really want to do some good in this over-crowded world of ours, while at the same time enjoying the higher status undoubtedly given to child-rearing couples, why not adopt? Children’s homes are full of unwanted babies and toddlers, all looking for a mum and dad.