I’m struggling to understand a recent decision by one of my female family members to “grow her family on her own.” She and her husband separated about 11 months ago, for reasons that aren’t altogether clear, but have something to do with his reluctance to have more than one child. (The husband is not, and never was, a practicing Catholic.) Apparently, this was heartbreaking for my family member, who always wanted to have a large family with many children of her own.
Well, apparently, within months of separating she decided to pursue artificial insemination to get pregnant and “grow her family on her own.” She just recently sent out an email to all her family and friends, announcing that she is pregnant (just finished the first trimester), and excited about having a new brother or sister for her son.
I’m really struggling with this. I love this person like a sister, but I don’t really understand her thinking here. What she did seems wrong on so many levels. It’s not that I doubt she will be a loving mother, and she has lots of immediate family to help raise the child. But is it right to bring a child into the world without an intact family, and with no father?
Also, I understand she’s getting lots of support from other family members and I just don’t understand that at all. I suppose that “support” can mean lots of things. But is there really family “approval” of the decision?
What would you say to this person, and to other family members, if this was happening in your family?
I’m not sure how to respond in a way that is accepting of the reality of the situation, but in no way condoning the actions that led to it.