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Single mothers like mine are an asset to society, not a 'burden'

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According to everyone else, growing up in a single parent family meant something bad. I saw the way the Surrey housewives looked at the empty chair next to my mum at parents evening.

There was the little girl who told me I was a bastard, the TV shows and films and adverts that portrayed the ideal family life as one with two parents.

Incredibly, the idea that being a single mother is shameful, to be avoided, persists, in far, far more harmful ways.

NHS South East London has, according to The Times, ‘banned single women from accessing IVF because they “exert less control on their children” and “place a greater burden on society in general”‘.

In response, the Labour MP Harriet Harman has written to the Health Secretary Matt Hancock to urgently review a policy in which single women are forbidden from having IVF.

As she writes in her letter to the health secretary, there is absolutely ‘no evidence’ that single mothers do either of these things.

Yet as the wording from the NHS region attests so offensively, there is still a profound sense of snobbery and failure attached to women who parent alone.

I have never felt anything other than an abundance of love, support and friendship from my single mum. Her superhuman efforts of holding a full time job in Westminster whilst bringing up two small children on her own has been the most inspiring lesson of my life – but society doesn’t paint single mothers the way I see them.


© Metro