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I'm an American raising my child in Ireland. I don't want to move back to the US because I feel safer here. (


Photo: Betsy Cornwell
Author: To read Betsy Cornwell's article, click HERE.

  • I'm originally from New Hampshire but have lived in Ireland since 2012.
  • My 5-year-old son was born here, and I didn't pay anything for his birth.
  • When I drop him off at school, I don't worry whether there's going to be a shooting.

I grew up in New Hampshire, but I've spent most of my adult life in Ireland . I first came to County Galway in 2012, intending to stay for a few months — but after I met my, now ex, husband, I pretty much never left.

Now I'm a single mother to a 5-year-old. I'm grateful every day for my adopted country 's midwife-centered public healthcare, gun safety, and money-where-its-mouth-is care for children.

Socialized healthcare was something I could only dream about in the US, but here — at least for new parents — it's a reality. I didn't pay a cent out of pocket for my maternity or postpartum care. My friends in the US, even those with good health insurance, were hit with bills in the thousands after they gave birth. My pregnancy was planned, but I knew I wouldn't have been able to afford that plan if I still lived in my home country.

The vast majority of my care came from midwives, not doctors. I felt a real sense of solidarity in the maternity ward where my baby and I spent his first days of life — both from the other mothers in the beds around me and from the experienced team that cared for us.

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