AN IRISHMAN in London has spoken of the trauma he suffered after a woman tricked him into fathering a child.
The anonymous man wrote to The Irish Times to seek advice on the situation.
He wrote: "Almost two years ago I had a very traumatic experience while I was home visiting my family and friends at Christmas.
"I was used by an older woman in order for her to become pregnant from a one-night stand."
The man said while out with family the woman approached him, wanting to have sex which 'took him by surprise.'
"I didn’t want to as I had no protection, but she told me that she was on the pill and I had nothing to worry about and I, unfortunately, believed her."
He said they went their separate ways and within a few days she began messaging to meet up.
'I’d not slept all week and was completely down, but this somehow seemed to amuse her.'
"I didn’t want to hurt her or make her feel used, so I kept it friendly. She wanted to see me, but I was reluctant and said that if I could it would only be as friends as I did not want to lead her on.
"Within three and a half weeks of the night in question she broke the news over the phone that she was pregnant."
He said he was 'completely devastated and in shock.'
"When we met up her first reaction was to laugh at the state I was in: I’d not slept all week and was completely down, but this somehow seemed to amuse her.
"From the get-go I told her that I did not want this situation and how it was a mistake on my part, that I did not want a child and I’d only broken up with my long-term girlfriend because of this.
"I questioned her about telling me that she had contraception covered and how could this have happened, but I was met with anger and she soon shut down.
"The woman then said she’d didn’t want to discuss it anymore and wouldn’t speak to me. I tried on numerous occasions to talk to her, but she said she wanted nothing from me, nothing to do with me and to never contact her again."
'I genuinely feel like I’ve been forced into a situation and not had any say in it.'
He later found out through other people that the child was born in September last year.
"I did request a DNA test, via my solicitor, to establish paternity and make sure I was indeed the father – which I am, but I genuinely don’t feel like I am a father or that I have a child.
"I know it’s not the child’s fault and they are innocent in all of this, but I genuinely feel like I’ve been forced into a situation and not had any say in it. I put money aside for the child every month and that will be for their future and so they’ll know that I did think of them regularly."
The Irishman says the situation has left a profound effect on his life, saying: "I was devastated by this and it’s been one of the most terrible situations that I’ve experienced, I almost ended my life because of it. It’s genuinely had a massive effect on my life."
"The woman used and manipulated me, and has taken something special away from me," he said.
"It’s taken me a long time to get back to the person I was prior to this event and I’ve required a lot of counselling in order to achieve it.
"I’m from a broken home and was brought up by an incredibly strong and independent mother, who is adored by my siblings and so I know the effect of growing up without a father."
Trish, The Irish Times' agony aunt, commended the man on sharing his story and said it opened up the issue of consent into the wider arena, and the 'effect of having a huge life decision forced on you without your knowledge or consent.'