Depriving child of father's love an abuse of power

I consider myself happily independent and rather highly educated (I am completing a doctorate at an Ivy League institution). I am moving into a senior position and building a pretty decent financial portfolio.

I am also 40 and single, and I really want to have a child.

Thus, the perspective presented by Mr Han Ming Guang ("Unplanned teen pregnancies of greater concern"; Wednesday) - that independent and financially capable women who deliberately choose to bear a child but not marry its father should not be chastised, but regarded by the state, first, as mothers - is a very attractive perspective to me.

Yet, I respectfully disagree.

Such a perspective does not benefit society. It also predetermines a system in which children are deprived of a relationship with their fathers.

First, giving benefits to women who choose to exclude the child's father sets in place a system that rewards such a decision.

The perspective does not differentiate between welfare and incentives. A woman who is left high and dry by an irresponsible husband should receive compassionate help.

But if society abets in an individual's selfish desire to exclude a child's father, Mr Han's perspective would perpetuate such actions.

We must stand for what is best for society - intact families with a father and a mother raising their children as the best building block for a healthy society.

Second, the child is at the centre of any discussion on family, but is absent from a perspective that names only "mothers" and "the state" as players.

Children's rights are human rights. To get a child (through in-vitro fertilisation or other means) because I am financially able, while imposing my choice to sever that child from his father, is not love but the abuse of power.

I have a duty to love my child's father. Children yearn for a father, and have a longing to know one's history. Money cannot take the place of a father.

Tan Mei Ying (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 14, 2015, with the headline 'Depriving child of father's love an abuse of power'. Print Edition | Subscribe