Category Archives: donor insemination

Martyrdom?

I was recently approached about submitting an essay on single motherhood to a magazine. I sent the editor a précis of my motherhood to date: began trying to conceive when I was 36, unexpectedly conceived identical twins, babies contracted twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome in utero. Had experimental surgery. Babies survived. Had tons of help from friends, sister, and Mom. Moved half a country away when my daughters were four. They’re now eleven .

The editor asked some follow-up questions. Could I talk more about my support network? In what ways is it harder to build one versus having a built-in one, i.e., a partner? What do I do when I want to brag to someone about something “awesome” my kids have done? And whom do I talk to when I want to tear my hair out?

I thought about this for a while before I responded. The editor seemed genuinely perplexed.

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Posted in children, donor, donor insemination, family, insemination, parenthood, parenting, single mom, single mother by choice, single motherhood, single mothers, single parent, single women, SMC, solo mother, solo parenting, sperm donor, women's movement | 1 Comment

My Only Regret is That I Waited So Long

I’ve always wanted to have children, always wanted to mother. I’ve been an au pair to other families, spent time with all of the kids of friends and family. I hoped and assumed, of course, that I would have a family of my own when the time came.

I suppose that’s the tricky part – that time thing. Like many, I’ve been in a series of long relationships that have not withstood the tests of time. A long medical training that I started when I was twenty-eight ended ten years later. And there I was, at thirty-eight, for the first time seriously thinking of having a child on my own.

So many questions came to mind – how could I do it? How could I make it work in time and money and love? And most importantly, would it be, could it be fair to bring in child into the

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Posted in baby, decision, donor insemination, family, motherhood, single mom, single mother by choice, single motherhood, single mothers, single parent, single women, SMC, solo mother, solo parenting, sperm donor, thinking, trying to conceive, ttc | Leave a comment

Why I Want to be a Mother

Children Welcoming Tired Mother Returning From WorkI want to share my vision of the world with my child/children; that life is expansive, not restrictive. that life is joyful and involves down time and bad times, but is exhilarating more often than it is draining or exhausting. I have lived in several countries, and cultures, and I want to pass on the knowledge that the world is a large place, and that there is a place and purpose for everyone, even several of each for you in one lifetime. I want to open their hearts to really believing in and pursuing their dreams.

I want to integrate them into my very large, loving family–they have numerous cousins waiting for them!

I want to teach them my native language, and pass on our rich Indian heritage to them. I want them to meet their great-grandmother, one of the greatest ladies I know. I want them to feel the

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Posted in adoption, baby, bonding, donor insemination, family, motherhood, single mom, single mother by choice, single motherhood, single mothers, single parent, SMC, solo mother, solo parenting | Leave a comment

Open Source Family

DYI MomThe day after my donor conceived son was born, Abby, my birth partner, or who I called my birth maid, told me, she had had a conversation about marriage with my dad in the car on the way back to the houseboat from the hospital. She had asked him why parents are so obsessed with their children getting married. My dad had said that he suspected that it was really about passing along genes and ensuring that the family continued. Did he care whether I got married now that I had given him a grandchild? she asked.

“Absolutely not,” he said.

My mom stayed with us for the first month after I brought Alexander home, which was a complete blur. The main thing I remember is we got adopted by a seagull that would show up on my dock and literally knock on the door with his beak around the

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Posted in donor insemination, donor siblings, DSR, motherhood, parenthood, single mom, single mother by choice, single motherhood, single mothers, single parent, single women, SMC, solo mother, solo parenting, sperm donor | Leave a comment

What is an SMC?

momchildAn SMC is a single mother by choice. As I ventured deeper into this world and joined the SMC organization, I discovered there were many thousands of women like me here in the US and around the world. We share similar stories, similar hopes and dreams, and yet can   also be very different in our backgrounds and values. I interact with SMCs every day, and in hearing their stories, realized how unremarkable my own journey is.

Single moms certainly are not unusual, but the basic difference is that most SMCs identify themselves quite strongly as women who have made a decision not to wait for marriage, and who have carefully considered the social, emotional, financial, and legal issues before proceeding to become mothers on their own.   

Occasionally I toss out the term SMC in conversation, perhaps because I hope it becomes less of an unusual idea. Sometimes I’m surprised

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Posted in donor insemination, motherhood, single, single mom, single mother by choice, single motherhood, single mothers, single parent, single women, SMC, solo mother, solo parenting | Leave a comment

I’m Not Alone!! Oh Great Goddess, I am NOT ALONE!

Unless you are nearing or over 40, single and childless, you cannot imagine how I feel and that’s not your fault – we are just living different experiences. I have not been able to express to my friends how it FEELS to be in my situation, but I am now connected with other women who TRULY understand what it’s like to want a child so much that they will do it on her own – even when deep down they really want the whole family package. Seriously, if we were given more time biologically, we would wait for the right relationship, but we don’t have that luxury.

It means so much to me to have access to people who are going through what I am going through and to share their experiences too. The more I read on the SMC Forum, the more convinced I am that I am making

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Posted in donor insemination, single, single mother by choice, single motherhood, single mothers, single parent, single women, SMC, solo mother, solo parenting, thinking | 3 Comments

A Letter to J’s Teacher

Girl eating lunch at kindergartenNext week J starts “big kid school” and this is the letter I will be giving her new teacher:

Hi Miss C —

I am excited for J to be in your class this year; she’s excited for “school” to start.

I would like to explain a little bit about our family. We are a mom-and-kid family – I am a single mother by choice. There is no father involved in J’s life, nor has there ever been; there was no divorce, separation or death. Of course, J has an extended family, a Nana and many “aunties” and “uncles” (but no father and no brothers or sisters).

J’s understanding of our family structure is evolving. One of her favorite books is “The Family Book,” which explains that families come in all sizes and configurations.  We also read an age-appropriate story about her unconventional conception.  I bring this to your attention

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Posted in adoption, daddy question, donor insemination, family, single mom, single mother by choice, single motherhood, single mothers, single parent, SMC, solo mother, solo parenting | 3 Comments

No Dad? No Problem. Meet The Moms Who Opt In Forever And Aren’t Complaining.

By Paula Szuchman

IMG_3907Editor’s note – Last year, Szuchman reached out to the Single Mothers by Choice group requesting to speak with moms in the group for a story regarding the debate over “opting-out.” Following is her article from “Women in the World” on The Daily Beast.

At 35, Talia Braude left her job at a high-end architecture firm in Manhattan to be her own boss.

At 38, she bought a vial of sperm, via the California Cryobank, from a guy with blue eyes who is an avowed atheist.

At 39, she became a single mom.

Talia and her baby boy, now 10 weeks old, live in a fourth-floor walkup with a cat named Jini, in a Brooklyn brownstone she renovated with her business partner. As her own boss, she doesn’t exactly get paid maternity leave, so she went back to work pretty quickly, her sister helping out with the

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Posted in adoption, donor insemination, motherhood, parenthood, single mom, single mother by choice, single motherhood, single mothers, single parent, single women, SMC, solo mother, solo parenting, sperm donor | 2 Comments

Getting Started: Questions to Ask Yourself

Thinking woman looking up on many question signs above head isolatedYou’ve had that incredible moment — the zing of excitement that comes when you realize the child (or children!) you’ve wanted can still be yours, even if you are single. But how do you know that single motherhood is right for you? And what path to motherhood should you take? There are a lot of things to consider before you decide to begin your journey. Here are some to get you started:

What are my options for becoming a mom? How much does each option cost? What options are financially feasible for me?
If you have good health insurance, doing donor insemination via IUI or IVF could be very inexpensive; if not, it can get pretty expensive. Adoption can be very pricey depending on the route you take. If you are open to DCFS adoption, it’s much less expensive, but private adoption generally runs $30K – $40K; international adoption can

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Posted in adoption, adoption agency, decision, donor insemination, emryo donation, IVF, motherhood, parenthood, single, single mom, single mother by choice, single motherhood, single mothers, single parent, SMC, solo mother, solo parenting, thinking, trying to conceive, ttc | 1 Comment

The Politics of SMCs

When I first joined the national SMC organization and my local group, I assumed the other women I would meet – virtually and in person – would be fairly similar to me.  I thought that making such an “unconventional” life choice would be a decision only left-leaning, primarily urban/coastal women would make.  I could not have been more wrong.

What I’ve found instead is an amazingly diverse community of women.  Our political affiliations are all across the spectrum.  We are gay and straight, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and atheist.  We are urban and rural, in the U.S. and Canada and Europe and Southeast Asia, and everywhere in-between.  We are black, white, Asian, Hispanic, and of every possible ethnic mix.  We are creative types and scientists who work from home and travel the world and are unemployed.  We are biological and adoptive moms and waiting-to-be-moms and still-thinking-about-becoming-moms.  About the only way

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Posted in adoption, donor insemination, insemination, single, single mom, single mother by choice, single motherhood, single mothers, single parent, single women, SMC, solo mother, solo parenting, sperm, sperm donor, trying to conceive | 2 Comments