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International News Archive
September 14 - September 20, 2001


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This page contains news for the period September  14 through September 20, 2001.



<<   September 2001  >>

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Thursday, September 20, 2001

Divorce can be contagious

A story published today by the Daily Record reports that according to a new research, divorce can be contagious but only among men. 

Yvonne Aberg, a Swedish sociologist, found that men are more likely to divorce their partners if their work colleagues have split up. This may be because men take more risks with relationships once they see their colleagues with new partners.

Aberg, who questioned 37,000 people at 1500 work places, said: "Since many people socialize after work, the men see divorced colleagues with new partners and don't see the risk of remaining single as big.

But she also noted that women tend to work harder at marriages when they see workmates split.

Aberg warned of a domino divorce effect, saying: "A wave of divorces at work can trigger another wave of separations, as those parting company often find a new partner at work."

Monday, September 17, 2001

Bachelor dad wants to care for triplets in Britain

A story published today by the Toronto Sun reports that British businessman Ian Mucklejohn, a 54 year old bachelor has paid more than $100,000 Canadian dollars for his instant family.

An American surrogate was impregnated with another woman's eggs that were fertilized with Mucklejohn's sperm. She gave birth to three healthy baby boys -- Ian, Lars and Piers -- on Feb. 8.

Two months ago Mucklejohn flew back to Britain with the babies, intending to raise them on his own.

The children have been given temporary leave to remain in this country while the Home Office decides whether to allow them to stay permanently. 

When asked about the surrogacy deal, Mucklejohn acknowledged the situation was not ideal but insisted he is a good father. 

"In an ideal situation a baby would have a father and mother who agreed with each other about the best things for their children," he said.

"But in reality I don't think that happens terribly often. I hope that they will know they were created because I wanted a baby to love. I hope they won't resent it."

Mucklejohn is waiting for word from the British Home Office on whether his sons can remain in the country. Born in California, the boys entered on a visitor's visa that has expired.

The British government is increasingly reluctant to allow surrogate babies into the country as "the notion of babies for money is essentially repugnant here." 

"They have no one to look after them and nowhere to go. This is their home and I am their father." said Mucklejohn.

Single parents of the year awarded in Britain

A story published today by The Mirror (London) reports that a divorced dad who helped his son overcome learning difficulties has been named single dad of the year. 

Gareth Jones, 35, from Llanfair Caereinion, Powys, said he had no idea his family planned to nominate him for the competition. Gareth brought up his son Marcus after his divorce from Marcus's mother in 1995. Marcus suffered from dyspraxia - which causes movement and speech difficulties - and by the age of seven he could only say five words.

Six years on and thanks to the loving care of his dad Marcus can now talk properly.

Gareth also opened his home to his brother's four children when his sister-in -law became ill with depression.

Gareth said: "I don't really know how I feel. I just suppose I am very happy and very surprised. I was shocked to get this award and I was nominated without anyone telling me."

Single mom of the year went to 31-year-old Paula O'Meara who struggled to bring up her twins after splitting with her boyfriend when she was pregnant.

Paula, of Brentwood, Essex helped her identical twin daughters Josephine and Carissa get chosen to play baby Courtney in the BBC's EastEnders.

The awards have been organized by magazine That's Life.

Friday, September 14, 2001

Divorce has more of an effect on children than death of a parent

A story published today by the Toronto Star reports that a new national survey released by Statistics Canada suggests that divorce may have more of an effect on a child's happiness and relationship future than the death of a parent. 

"The effects of divorce on childhood happiness may be more pronounced than the effects of death and may have deeper consequences on quality of life or emotional health," said Cara Williams, analyst of Statistics Canada."We know that divorce may lead to more behavioral problems and marital instability when kids eventually get married."

The survey, released earlier this week, assessed how 10,749 adults felt about changes in the parental structure that occurred when they were children.

These changes included the separation or divorce of parents, the death of a parent, the remarriage of a parent and other changes in living arrangements, such as living with relatives or in a foster home.

"When adult children who experienced family disruptions during childhood look back on these years, they are less likely to recall their childhood as happy than those whose families were intact," concluded Williams.

"Furthermore, the greater the number of parenting changes these individuals experienced, the less likely they are to believe they were happy."

Children of divorced parents are more likely to live in low income households and have emotional, behavioral, social and academic problems, she said. 

Williams also added that children who experience a parent's death or divorce are more likely to leave home earlier.

"However, while the death of a parent doesn't seem to affect the likelihood of a child marrying or experiencing marital instability, adult children of divorce are more likely to put off marriage and have a higher chance of marital instability," she added.


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