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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I'm a 20-year-old independent young woman with problems up to my eyeballs. I am eight months pregnant with a child I do not want and cannot provide for. I have gotten absolutely no support from family or friends.

The father refuses to believe that the baby is his, and I have made arrangements for adoption. I'm not emotionally or financially able to take care of a child. I can barely make ends meet supporting myself, let alone a child. The father claims that after the baby is born he will help support it, if in fact it is his. But I would still be the caregiver on a day-to-day basis.

Abby, I have dreams, goals and a lot of ambition. I'd like to return to school and accomplish all that I can in life, but having an unwanted baby by an unwanted man would really throw a monkey wrench into my plans.

The baby's father says he does not agree with the adoption, but the only other choice is for him to take full custody, which he refuses to do. (In other words, I have the child and I struggle with it.)

Well, I'm tired of struggling and I don't need the added responsibilities, especially since I have the option of adoption. I am scared, confused, and not quite certain I am doing the right thing. What do you think? -- VERY UNHAPPY

DEAR VERY UNHAPPY: I think you have made the correct choice. You have intelligent and compelling reasons to give your child to a couple who would love it and are better able than you are to provide for its future.

DEAR ABBY: I am among that growing segment of our population known as "the graying of America." Many of us require couches and chairs we can comfortably sit on and gracefully rise from without strain. Younger people with "athletic knee" or back problems are in similar situations.

I recently moved from my home of many years to a retirement village apartment. I willingly abandoned my sofa and chairs, knowing they would be difficult for me and my contemporaries to use.

In the Cincinnati hospital where I went for physical therapy, the waiting room was furnished with couches and chairs that were much too low to be practical. (I chose to sit on an end table.)

I fervently hope that designers will consider our need for couches and chairs from which we can comfortably rise. -- MRS. VIRGINIA HARRY, DAYTON, OHIO

DEAR MRS. HARRY: Thank you for a letter that I hope will inspire designers to come up with some useful furniture for a growing market of consumers.

DEAR ABBY: I just had to respond to "Abby Fan in Arizona," the 71-year-old widow who refused to become sexually involved with a man because of her "dropped stomach" or "apron," as she called it.

Years ago, there was a saying that went: Look but don't touch. A widow and widower in our town were getting to know each other, and when the situation began to get a little more intimate, the fellow said, "I know -- look but don't touch."

To which she responded, "Touch all you want -- just don't look!" -- A FLORIDA FAN

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