It recently came as a bit of a surprise to me that many sperm banks are saying the majority of their clients are single mothers by choice and lesbian couples. This was discussed at a recent donor conference I attended in Charleston, S.C.
The face of the American family is changing – and rapidly. Remember when the Murphy Brown TV character, played by Candice Bergen, stirred up controversy when she turned up pregnant and single, and even brought a rebuke from then-Vice President Dan Quayle? Quayle complained that Brown’s character who “epitomizes today’s intelligent, highly paid professional woman is portrayed as mocking the importance of fathers, by bearing a child alone and calling it just another lifestyle choice.”
This “lifestyle choice” is not nearly so shocking, or uncommon, as it was 18 years ago when these words were uttered. The number of single mothers by choice is growing rapidly as women discover they have drifted into their late 30s or early 40s without finding Mr. Right.
They even have a wide array of choices if they decide to go it alone:
- Anonymous donor sperm/open identity donor
- Known donor
- Embryo donation
Website For Choice Moms
Here’s a website devoted to choice moms: www.choicemoms.org. The site talks about the stages of action: Thinking, Trying, Waiting, Becoming, Being.
Now, there are plenty of women who are single moms not by choice: Divorce, death, or men who are incompatible, abusive, or absent. But for a woman to deliberately choose to have a baby without feeling the need for a male presence, still disturbs some.
Does this trend, as Quayle suggested, mock the importance of fathers? Or does it allow women – who haven’t found the right partner – more freedom in their desire to have a family, without,
- marrying just to get pregnant,
- having a one-night fling,
- living with the bitterness of unfulfilled dreams?
I tend to favor the latter.
That being said, there are also a growing number of single women doing this in their 50s. Now we’re really stretching the boundary of our reproductive choices.
What do you think about choice moms? Tell me and my readers in the comment field below.