The Baby Farmer; This Doctor Says Mother Who Had Three Children Adopted Deserves Help Starting a New Family

Daily Mail (London), August 19, 1996 | Go to article overview

The Baby Farmer; This Doctor Says Mother Who Had Three Children Adopted Deserves Help Starting a New Family


Byline: OLIVER HARVEY

A FERTILITY specialist is campaigning to have a woman patient, whose three children were adopted after being taken into care, accepted for IVF treatment.

John Parsons insists that the 30-year-old unemployed woman, who has also had two abortions, deserves another chance to start a family.

His backing will fuel the debate about the availability of fertility treatment, highlighted by the case of Mandy Allwood, who is expecting eight babies.

Mr Parsons, chief consultant in fertility at King's College Hospital in London, likened his patient's desire for a sixth attempt at motherhood to a criminal turning over a new leaf.

`Not allowing her on the IVF programme is like society refusing to rehabilitate a criminal,' he said last night.

The woman, whose partner of ten years is also unemployed, has already been rejected twice by the hospital's ethics committee.

Mr Parsons said his patient, who had five teenage pregnancies, hoped to be treated on the NHS. Her fertility was affected after she contracted a sexually-transmitted disease.

Mr Parsons said the woman's three children had been taken into care and later adopted because her husband and father had been accused of being involved in child sexual abuse.

`Having spoken to her, I know she deserves another chance. People change and they learn by their mistakes,' he said from his home in West London.

`This poor woman was thrust into a family situation in her late teens.

She had a drunken husband who never gave her any money, and no parenting skills because her parents were incapable of giving them to her.

`This woman will probably end up in a psychiatric hospital if she does not get on the programme.'

He refused to give any more details about the woman, adding: `She is not a very strong person, so I don't want to drag her into any of this.'

Mr Parsons said he believed patients should be accepted for fertility treatment on a first-come, first-served basis.

`I am in favour of treating people in the chronological order in which they are referred to me,' he added.

`When you start weighing people up, it gets very difficult.

`This woman came to us some time ago and I have asked the ethical committee to allow her on to a programme twice, although I don't have to accept their decisions,' he added. …

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