Single mothers grateful for Government assistance

Government benefits are very helpful and supplement their single income, say single mothers.

Social workers said the unwed mums they counsel range from teenagers to women in their 30s.

Some men had walked out of the relationship after learning of the pregnancy, while some women felt they were not ready to marry their boyfriends for various reasons, said Ms Mary John, a case worker from the Family Life Society, which helps women facing a pregnancy crisis.

For unwed mothers, those who stated the name of the baby's father in the child's birth certificate outnumbered those who did not, going by Ministry of Social and Family Development data.

Social workers said some do not want the child to have anything to do with the father.

A 21-year-old audit assistant, who wanted to be known only as Nicole, said her boyfriend did not contribute financially to raise their four-month-old son. She earns less than $2,000 a month and the $3,000 grant from the Government is a big help.

Her boyfriend, who had initially asked her to go for an abortion, also did not want his name on the child's birth certificate.

She said: "I don't want to rush into marriage as marriage is for a lifetime and I don't want to regret (my choice).

"We have our differences and we are still trying to work things out." - THERESA TAN