Table of Contents
The Most Beautiful Sperm in the World
by Julie Gamberg
Picking a sperm donor, to your great chagrin, will bring out the eugenicist in you. You will find yourself mixing and matching genetic traits like you would an ensemble for a big night out. And if that weren’t bad enough, you will be forced to put your money where your mouth is on the nature versus nurture debate (not so easy if you’re a hardcore believer in environment-is-everything). Suddenly all traits seem inheritable. Athleticism? Genetic. Artistic ability? Genetic! Intelligence? Hell to the genetic yeah! Sense of Humor? Uhm, let’s just be safe and say…genetic.
Before you know it, you have your dream seed picked out – someone you would happily be friends with. Someone you might even sleep with, even if you don’t sleep with boys! He’s smart, funny, artsy, cool, athletic, virile (gotta check the sperm count), kind, idealistic, grounded, and oops! –you forgot to look at the medical history, didn’t you?
Which, uhm, maybe you should prioritize. But admit it: isn’t there a part of you that just wants to consider looks? I know a lesbian couple who called their sperm bank and asked for the hottest, hottest, hottest guy available. They figured that because they’re both smart and well educated, their kid would be too. Hotness, they felt was the one thing they couldn’t influence environmentally, and so they wanted to give it in droves. This couple wound up putting their foot (or needle-less syringe) down in the nurture camp – deciding it’s all environmental, except for looks. But they didn’t think about medical history. Because I promise you that that smart, musical, sweet hottie’s family is full of cancer, heart attacks, diabetes, alcoholism, mental illness, more cancer, and 17 other medical issues which definitely involve genetic propensity (and teen acne, about which you will suddenly wonder if you’re supposed to care).
And in the middle of all of that eugenics work — the wanting of a physically attractive, smart, artistic, musical, athletic, funny donor with a clean medical history — you may start realizing that your child-to-come might want some kind of a relationship with this donor, even if only a one-time meeting to satisfy eighteen years’ of curiosity.
And you want that meeting to go well.
So now you start thinking that you might like to actually know your donor, this person who is going to give your little one half of his or her DNA. Meet him, smell him, look into his eyes, ask about his family, check him out. So you consider using a known donor. Like a close friend’s brother. Or your best friend from college. Or a former friend with-benefits of whom you might cash in on one really huge benefit. All really nice, good-hearted guys.
More often than not, the potential donor says no (which often leads SMC’s back to the sperm bank, which we’ll get to shortly). But should your male “friend” say yes, you now enter… Negotiations.
You will need to decide how much, if any, involvement this friend will have after your child is born. You’ll have to consider his parents, to whom your child will be a grandchild. Will your child know him as uncle, donor, dad, donor dad, or something else entirely? What will you do if your child wants more contact with the donor? Will he agree in advance to be a donor a second or third time, so your child can have full siblings should you want more children? There is a lot to think about. There are some great books out there, as well as online resources. Sample donor contracts can be helpful in guiding you through the ramifications of using a known donor. It can also be useful to consult with a therapist to talk you through these issues as well as a lawyer who specializes in drawing up contracts with known donors.
For some families, having only involvement with a known donor is not enough, and they seek rather to co-parent with the donor. I have a lesbian SMC friend who went to a co-parenting group at the local LGBT center. She met a man who was interested, and within a few short months, they went for it! How are they doing? They’re doing okay. They are madly in love with their amazing little one, who is a happy, healthy, thriving five-year-old. They struggle, though – a lot – with their connection to one another, as well as with their very different styles of parenting. Their particular custody arrangement ensures that she makes most of the big decisions and has custody for a majority of the time, which eases tensions somewhat.
I have come across other co-parenting situations in which the struggles are fewer, and even a co-parenting situation which seemed downright blissful. I don’t know of any big studies or raw data on how this is going, but I do believe that huge amounts of communication and clarity at the outset are helpful in lessening the inherent struggles of co-parenting. Get to know one another well; talk in-depth about parenting styles; consider now any possible future situations, like if one or both of the parents becomes partnered (or un-partnered), if one parent wants to move, if someone dies, if one wants more or less custody, and so on.
Unfortunately, some known donor situations become sticky, complicated, and downright ugly. There have been lawsuits on both sides of the equation – SMC’s who asked for a sperm donation then later sued for child support as well as men who agreed to donate sperm and later sued for custody — although anecdotally, the latter seems more common than the former in true donor situations (as opposed to, say, exes). Although legal protection for donor situations varies state to state, it’s wise to have a firm and clear known donor contract. (But keep in mind the court can ultimately override any contract or arrangement it doesn’t deem to be in the best interest of the child.) Some precedent cases ruled that sperm that goes through the hands of a doctor is generally considered a donation; if a doctor is not involved, it can be considered paternity (and yes, even if a turkey baster — aka needle less syringe — is used). If the donor later gives the parent or child money or establishes a parental relationship, this can also be legally interpreted as paternity.
As for my friend and her co-parent, would they do it all over again? In a heartbeat. Because they love their child. In fact, most SMCs I talked to wouldn’t change anything once they have their baby because, well, they have their baby. Whatever it took to bring her or him into the world was exactly the right thing – whether by foster-adopting, adopting internationally, turkey-bastering, IVF, surrogacy, or any other method of having a child. Although you will undoubtedly love your little one however she came into the world, do take the time now to research your options carefully and make a fullyinformed decision that marries the best of your brain with the best of your instincts, and your heart.
Once you’ve thought everything through and you know that a sperm bank is the best route for you, you still have to choose a sperm bank, and decide between a completely anonymous donor, or an “identity release” or “willing to be known” (different sperm banks use different terms) donor — one who agrees to some sort of contact when the child turns eighteen. Although there are definitely good reasons for using sperm from an anonymous donor –like the desire to mirror one’s specific mixed racial background as closely as possible (which can be almost impossible without an anonymous donor), or the requirement to have a donor who is CMV negative — it appears that the primary reason women choose a fully anonymous donor is the wider variety. A bigger selection can seem like it will mean a better chance of getting that medically healthy, super cute, funny-inhis-essay, compassionate, athletic, artistic seed. Also, sperm banks with a wider pool of anonymous donors tend to be large and web-savvy, with a frothy commercial appeal in how they market the donors. These are banks where you can shop online and it’s fun! which is a huge relief when making such a complicated and difficult decision. These sites often have baby pictures and adult photos available online, are very user-friendly, and have lots of cool features like celebrity lookalikes, unlimited profiles for one flat fee, and online donor voice records. In fact, not by accident I’m sure, these sites often mirror the popular and well-capitalized dating sites, like match.com.
Although the appeal of having a fun, upbeat shopping experience is understandable, the short-term benefits of using these banks may be outweighed by the long-term repercussions. For starters, activists argue that the field is not well enough regulated. Wendy Kramer (who wrote an article last issue) and her son Ryan, who both founded the Donor Sibling Registry at http://www.donorsiblingregistry.com a site where donor-conceived offspring can register by clinic and/or donor identification number and choose to meet half-siblings — and possibly their anonymous donor, should he choose to register — strongly believe that the first priority should be the long-term needs of the child. This includes having a low donor-to-family ratio and allowing for the offspring to have the choice of at least a one-time meeting with the person who makes up half of his or her DNA. They consider this a fundamental human right. Several countries, such as Norway, Holland, England, Sweden, Germany, and Italy, agree. In these countries, anonymous donation is illegal. As donor-conceived children grow up and tell their stories (and there are many on the DSR website and in some recently published books), two issues are echoed again and again: these children need to be told if they were donor-conceived, and they need to have the opportunity to meet their donor. It seems that nearly all the negative issues reported by donor-conceived offspring occur when these needs aren’t met. Fortunately these are both issues that parentscan control and it’s important for the long-term well being of your childto-be to think them through in advance.
If you do decide that you want to ensure your donor-conceived offspring the opportunity to meet his donor, it does matter which sperm bank you use. There is no set standard for the donorto-family ratio. From my survey of about a dozen of the largest or most well known sperm banks, the donor-to family ratio ranges from a low of 10 to a high of 60. Sixty families! At an average of 1.5 kids per family, that means your little one could have approximately 90 half-siblings. There is also no fixed definition for what a “willing to be known” or “identity release” donor means. On the webpage of the very popular California Cryobank, they explain that “open donors” are “committed to one contact…” which “may be in the form of an email, standard letter, phone call or meeting in person – the type of contact is decided solely by the donor.” This means that at the end of the day, your child might be unable to get a name, genetic information, or even simple questions answered. Your child’s one single contact might come from an anonymous email account or a form letter sent to all of the donor-conceived offspring, both of which would fulfill the legal and ethical obligation according to the terms set by California Cryobank.
Contrast this with Pacific Reproductive Services, a lesbian-owned sperm bank, where the donor is required to have actual contact at least once. Or, the sperm bank I’m particularly fond of, The Sperm Bank of California (TSBC), the only non-profit sperm bank in the country, and also one of the oldest (operating since 1982). According to their website “TSBC conducts research on the psychosocial implications of donor insemination …” as well as being “the first sperm bank in the United States to create the Identity-Release® Program, serve lesbian couples and single women, provide extensive personal and family medical histories on donors, offer instruction on how to perform inseminations at home, document conception and birth rates, track and limit the number of births per donor.” They also thoroughly discuss identity release with their donors and prepare them for contact if so requested by offspring who have attained the age of 18. At such time, TSBC then releases an entire profile, including full name, birth date, place of birth, updated contact information, and how the donor would like to be contacted.
Unfortunately, TSBC’s web searches are clunky and their donors seem, on the page, more like good, nice guys, rather than the Brad Pitt/Zac Effron combo of whom the other sites seem to have ample amounts. Their simple, straightforward site cannot begin to compare with the sleek Xytex website which offers a oneclick “ultra unlimited package” — 90 days’ of unlimited use, profiles, photos, “PhotoSpans,” and audio interviews. On the Xytex homepage is a rotating box with baby and adult pictures of donors, including a photo of a cute, trendy looking young man. And then there’s a quick search feature, where you can plug in three parameters and immediately begin searching. As you might imagine, medical history is not one of them. In fact, the parameters on the Xytex site provide the perfect illustration of how buying sperm on the internet propels us to fixate on the superficial. What, according to Xytex’s webpage, are the three most important factors to take into account when performing a quick search? Hair color, eye color, and ethnic origin. At least the last one wasn’t height.
I have to admit, when I first considered using a sperm bank, I signed up for Xytex’s three months’ of unlimited profiles and loved the ability to just keep clicking on profile after profile, seeing adult photos, reading both the short and the extended question essays. I thought about ordering their really cool service where I could submit my questions and the donor would answer them by voice. But I kept coming back to the integrity of banks like TSBC — where there would only be nine other donor families; where the donor receives thoughtful communication about the gravity of his choices; where a donor is meant to really understand that he is signing up for releasing his full identity; and, where he most likely would have warm and compassionate contact with a potential adult child of mine.
I did not, in the end, conceive with a sperm bank or a co-parent, but rather with a unique known donor situation that feels perfect for my single-parent family. No matter how things come about, donor-conceived children are lucky. They are wanted and they are born to a parent or parents doing everything possible to create a thoughtful, loving family. Which is a beautiful thing. Even if you don’t pick the most beautiful sperm.
by Lynn Cave
I chose to reduce. I had to go to Philadelphia to do it, but that was almost fourteen years ago now. I considered many options, including an open adoption for one or two of them, but I thought that those children would never understand their situation. One of my strongest memories during this time was saying to a friend of mine, “But, I only have two hands.”
I still wonder about the third. I don’t feel guilty, really. I just was faced with a very tough choice. Like you, my doctors were telling me that triplets might have more developmental and other difficulties carried to term than twins. I didn’t think as a single woman that I could handle the odds of having 1 or more babies with special needs right off the bat. I also suffer from depression, so I was also concerned about being able to deal with the stress of three. I also didn’t think I could afford the childcare that three might require plus just their general expenses. But, looking back, this last concern seems minor compared to the others. My income has grown, so it might not have been that big a deal financially after the preschool years. However, my children have turned out to have special needs of a different sort, and the finances might come into play now with special schooling. Yes, even in as an affluent area like the one I live in, my children’s needs might not be met by the public system.
Having twins was rough for me, especially after they could run in different directions. I can remember when they were infants not knowing which one I had fed in the middle of the night. Knowing who to pay attention to first when they both were crying was always a tough call and continues to be to this day.
Now that they are older, though, it is more just like having two children without thinking about the twin factor all the time. Because of my situation— my children’s special needs and my own mental health needs—I am often stressed to the max. One little thing, one unplanned task out of the ordinary can send me to the edge of despair. Sometimes my friends don’t know how I hold on; I wonder too. This, of course, may be completely different for you. Somehow, though, it seems we just do what we have to do because we have no choice. Luckily, I have friends who remind me of my strength and support me the best they know how.
I just had a very difficult time completing a huge project at work because of stress related to my kids over the last few months. I even had to listen to my boss describe my performance on this project as “unacceptable.” I think if the stress in my personal life wasn’t so great that I may not have had this performance issue. Like most people, I’m trying to accept things as they are and live day to day. I’m learning, very slowly, how to live in the moment so that I can be truly present for my children. This would have been my task even if I had remained childless or been the mother of a singleton. (Isn’t that a strange word? Those of us with multiples learn that it is a word that makes a big difference).
Though I still think of the third child at times and wonder what could have been, I also realize that what is, is. So, I try not to focus on the “could have been.” There is no way to really know what could have been.
WANT TO BE A CONTACT PERSON FOR SMC IN YOUR AREA?
The primary purpose of the CP is to welcome new members of SMC and to let them know what is happening on the local level. You may also want to contact current members and start organizing a local chapter meeting. As the CP, you could contact the local members and start to run local meetings or set up an organizational meeting for the local members where the roles and responsibilities of a local chapter are distributed amongst those who are interested in having an active chapter. If you’re interested, contact the SMC office at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jackie Strohmenger is a new CP for the Saint Louis area in Missouri.
She can be reached at (773) 510-4099 or email@example.com.
Mimi Allen is the new CP for Phoenix, AZ. She can be reached at (602) 758-0766 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jen Johnson is new CP for Boise, ID. She can be reached at email@example.com or (208)323-9460
Our Family on Family Day in Israel
by Marne J. Rochester
This was not the way I dreamed it as a little girl, or teenager, or young adult. I always imagined I would meet my basheret (soul mate), have a wonderful wedding with lots of dancing with family and friends, and have 4 or 5 children. But this dream was not coming true, and I wasn’t willing to give up motherhood because I didn’t meet someone to have the family with.
Shortly after my 37th birthday, I went to the clinic and started the process. I was surprised at how easy it was and how at ease the nurses made me feel. I went to the sperm bank at the hospital and had an “interesting” conversation with the woman about how to decide on the right donor. After I told her what I wanted, she insisted that, at the very least, I take a donor with some height (to counter balance my lack of height).
The next month I went for the insemination (or as I called it “spermination”). A friend came and held my hand. I cried because I had to let go of the romantic idea of how I was to get pregnant. I cried because it was possible that I would be pregnant very soon. As it turned out, I did get pregnant right away but had a miscarriage early on. Shortly after that, I got back together with my exboyfriend, and by the end of the year, we broke up, again. A week later I was back at the clinic. A month later I was pregnant. 9 months later, a month before my 39th birthday, with my adopted mother from my kibbutz, a doula, and a midwife at my side (in Israel, doctors are rarely in the room for births), I became an Ima (mother). Then there were only tears of joy and the only thing I could say for the first few minutes through the tears, with my baby in my arms, was “Oh my God! Oh my God!” I then gave her the traditional Jewish parental blessing.
May God make you like Sarah, Rivka, Leah, and Rachel. May God bless you and watch over you. May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May God’s face turn to you and give you peace.
Last week was Family Day in Israel, 30th of the Hebrew month of Shevat. I love this day. I love having another excuse to celebrate our family, the two of us. Leora came home from kindergarten with a flower she made for me and a picture of her in a frame she decorated. We made a family tree together by gluing pictures of our family onto leave shaped paper and pasting those onto a tree we made. She knows she has no father but there was a donor who enabled me to get pregnant. From the day she was born we’ve been very open about this. (She knows more about fertility than many adults). She knows her immediately family is she and I and her extended family includes her grandparents and uncles and aunts and cousins. On Family Day we talked about our family, and we both agreed that we have the perfect family; we love each other and we love being together. And if one day it gets bigger, it will also be perfect. If it doesn’t, it will still be perfect.
Mother’s Day was started in Israel by the Organization of Working Mothers. It was originally celebrated in 1951 on the second day of Hannukah and then moved to Tu B’Shevat (the Jewish Arbor Day). The name was changed a few years ago to Family Day, to include all the members of the family and in recognition that not all families are the same, and is now appropriately celebrated on the 30th of Shevat, the anniversary of the death of Henrietta Szold.
Born in 1860, Henrietta Szold was a woman ahead of her time. She was granted permission to study Jewish texts at the then male-only Jewish Theological Seminary. When her mother died and a male friend offered to say the mourner’s kaddish (a prayer said after someone in the immediately family dies), her response was “I believe that the elimination of women from such duties was never intended by our law and custom… It was never intended that, if they could perform them, their performance of them should not be considered as valuable and valid as when one of the male sex performed them.”
In 1909, at age 49, Szold traveled to the Land of Israel for the first time. Szold joined six other women to found Hadassah, which recruited American Jewish women to upgrade health care in Palestine (pre-State Israel). Hadassah funded hospitals, a medical school, dental facilities, x-ray clinics, infant welfare stations, soup kitchens, and other services for Palestine’s Jewish and Arab inhabitants.
In 1933 she immigrated to Palestine and helped run Aliyat HaNoar, an organization that rescued some 22,000 Jewish children from Nazi Europe and resettled them in Palestine.
Henrietta had no biological children of her own, but she was a mother to thousands of children. However, in her later years, she confided to a friend: “I would exchange everything for one child of my own.”
Being a single parent by choice has been indescribably difficult – emotionally, financially, and socially. But it was the most right decision I ever made and one that I celebrate every day.
Henrietta may have been too far ahead of her time; she didn’t have the same options. I am so grateful that I am not ahead of my time. I am grateful I will not have that one great regret. I am grateful for the support of my family and friends. I am grateful for the society that accepts our family. I am grateful for the Israeli medical system that with ease and sensitivity, and almost no cost, helped me to realize my one greatest dream. I am grateful for Leora Shirit, the love of my life, my one greatest dream, who was born 5½ years ago at Hadassah Hospital, Ein Kerem, Jerusalem.
Originally printed in slightly different form in the Philadelphia Jewish Voice.
Announcing SMC's 30th Anniversary Celebration
Oct. 14-16, 2011 in NYC
Panel Discussions, Socializing, Dinner, a Film and More!
REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN
Early Bird Rates Expiring soon
Register online at www.singlemothersbychoice.org/information
The 30th Anniversary Celebration will consist of two parts — meetings and a dinner — both held at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge. We hope that members will register for both the meetings and the dinner, but we do understand that some may only be able to attend one or the other.
We will have panels with the grown children of some of our SMC members, the mothers of grown SMC children, Wendy Kramer and her son Ryan, Rosanna Hertz, author of Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice, and other panelists who will talk about issues that pertain to our SMC families. We will address issues ranging from thinking through parenting of grown children. And although the majority of the day will be scheduled, there will be time for socializing as well.
Saturday night we will have a Celebration Dinner, which will be a social event with some lively presentations.
Conference Registration (includes lunch):
Early Bird Registration (now through June 30th) ………. $110
Regular Registration (June 30th through Oct. 12th)…… $140
On-Site Registration (Oct. 15th)……………………………. $170
Dinner Celebration Registration:
Early Bird Registration (now through June 30th) ………… $95
Regular Registration (June 30th through Oct. 12th)…… $125
Children’s dinner (kids menu, up to 12 years old)………… $30
We are researching childcare options — and we will
present them as we get more definitive information. Please
check the Celebration website or the SMC online group for
It is hard to believe that 30 years have passed since I founded Single Mothers by Choice. So much has happened — to all of us — in these years: Our children have grown up, SMCs are becoming more mainstream in our society, and over 13,000 women have joined Single Mothers by Choice. When I founded SMC there was no Internet or email, and now we have online friends we feel close to but who we may meet for the first time at this gathering.
The most important things haven’t changed; we still continue to support one another and to share in the joys and challenges of our journey, starting from the decision to become a single parent, through the process of trying to conceive or adopt, and finally through the raising of our children.
We have so much to celebrate! I hope you will come and join us as we gather at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge on October 14-16th, 2011.
— Jane Mattes
P.S. To keep those who are attending connected and updated, we have created a special 30th Anniversary website and email group. The website is http://www.singlemothersbychoice.org/information/
Once you have visited the site, we recommend that you join the Yahoo email group to stay up to date on additions and updates to the schedule. To do this, send a blank message to: SMC-30thAnniversarysubscribe@yahoogroups.com and follow the returned directions. Alternatively you can register for the Yahoo group through the Celebration website.
Dear Ms. Essie
Seeing as June 19th is Father’s Day, Ms. Essie thought she ask some SMCs to share advice on how to deal with that pesky “Who’s the father?” question.
Once when someone asked what the father looked like, I said something like, “I’m not sure, it was very dark…” and the person looked at me and grinned and got it that I was making a joke… I had actually heard that one from a friend and thought it was so funny that I had to try it.
Sometimes, even very well intentioned friends ask great details about my donor (how tall, how old, what was he like, what did he look like, what major, etc etc). I usually just shrug and say ’it’s all a blur’ or ’eh, that’s for a longer conversation’ and almost everybody catches on.
I always answered, if the question came, which was rare, that it was a private question and that I am very happy being a single mom by choice. I found some people to be curious about the process of choosing a donor and with some I shared some things and with I said it was personal and that ended the conversation. I strongly believe that if you show that are over the moon with excitement about becoming a SMC than they know this was your decision and the dad does not matter. That has been my experience.
More often then not, people did not bring it up but as a result of a different question or comment, I would volunteer that I was single and this was a choice I had made. I have been VERY open about it but that is me with most things in my life anyway.
I’ve gotten it a little, but not much. That said, I’m being pretty direct about it, which is just a personal choice, of course. I.e., I generally answer the question before it’s asked.
It’s obviously a personal choice, but when I do get questions (or, what is much more common, casual mentions of my husband as though I obviously must have one), I really don’t mind sharing the details and often volunteer them. I usually just smile really big and say “Oh, no husband, just me. I’m doing this on my own.“ I’ll often add something like “Well, I’m 37, and I always wanted kids, and it was time to make that happen.“ If they look interested but confused, I’ll sometimes add that I used donor sperm.
People are more apt to cautiously ask something like, “Is this a good thing?“ Once I reply that it was planned and I worked with a doctor to get this way, they relax and get all excited for me.
I have had a couple situations where people are very forward and curious and start asking all kinds of questions…but I guess I am very comfortable telling them everything. I am so happy and thankful to be pregnant nothing phases me…
The impression I’ve gotten is more that they don’t want to upset me or make it worse if I’m upset – less about judging me and more about concern. Basically, I’m trying to give people a little slack on it, because I know they mean well. I know that won’t be true of everyone, but it’s the approach I’m taking.
When I told my boss about it, he said “Diane I thought you were single“ and I replied “Single people can and do get pregnant.“ Bless his heart.
There aren’t too many people in my life that don’t know the whole story and how I have been trying for several years with a donor. However, the few new people I meet or the few that don’t know, I almost always say… “No father, it’s just going to be the two of us…”
In the end, I’m quite sure that most married or partnered women don’t get the questions, but honestly, I’m not really surprised by that. I just figure I’m walking a slightly different path than most, and that it will sometimes make folks curious.
I too haven’t gotten the question NEARLY as much as I expected. I think because (at the suggestion of another SMC) I usually announced it by prefacing it with “I have some really exciting news…” So people knew off the bat I was happy about it. For the few who did directly ask, I told them I worked with a doctor and went to a “special bank”. The look on their faces as that registered was priceless. (I wish I had a camera on me!!)
My family and close friends know that I used donor sperm. Other people have not been as rude as to ask who is the father. I think I usually head off the question by stating I’m 41 and have been trying to get pregnant for some time. People just tend to be happy for me and not ask questions about the father when they know that getting pregnant has been a long journey for me. However, if someone asked me about the father and I didn’t feel they should know my business, I’ll probably say the father is not in the picture and direct the conversation towards being happy for me instead of being nosy. A friend of mine once told me I should say, I’m the father and mommy as donors are not parents. But I think I’ll just stick with saying the father is not in the picture.
I’ve gotten very few questions about Maggie’s father, who is not actually a donor. But when they do ask, I just say “I don’t really want to discuss that. I want Maggie to be loved for who she is, not where she came from.”
Editor’s Note: In this feature, the wit and wisdom of our very smart and very together SMC—Ms. Essie Emcee—is tapped to answer some of the questions SMCs face. Other sources of extraordinary wisdom can be found on the SMC listserve groups. If you have a question you’d like Ms. Essie to answer, email firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to Box 1642, Gracie Square Station, NYC 10028
What's the Buzz?
SMC’s 30th Anniversary Celebration
October 2011— Looking for Sponsors
We are looking for your help with finding 30th Anniversary Sponsors! In order to make our upcoming celebration a success, we need to find sponsors. Registrations will take care of some of the costs, but not all. If you have a relationship with an organization that might consider sponsoring the event, please let us know.
Who might sponsor? Employers, sperm banks, adoption agencies, law firms, doctors, banks, parents, grandparents, family friends, supporters, even you!
How much does it cost to sponsor the event? We have sponsorship opportunities to fit every pocketbook– from small announcements in the program congratulating family, friends or the SMC organization to dinner sponsorships, which include booth space at the event.
What do you need to do? Send us an email if you have someone who may be willing to consider sponsoring the event. (email@example.com) We will send you the details. You can manage the sponsorship request or we can. And let us know if you have any questions about sponsorship. Thank you for your help!
New family member whose arrival you’d like to announce? Please send pertinent information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laura Brennan is thrilled to announce the birth of her daughter Sara Margaret Brennan on March 1, 2011. She is beautiful and healthy – a dream come true!
Heather Woods announces the birth of her son Ayden Paul on March 24, 2011. Adoption papers were officially signed on March 26th. Ayden weighed in 7 lb, 3 oz and measured 20 inches long with lots and lots of dark black hair. Mom and baby are doing great; learning as they go.
It is with great joy that I announce the birth of my precious baby girl, Ava Rose, on April 3, 2011. Thanks so much for all of your support! I am so very thankful for this group of wonderful women! – Jackie Strohme
Sonya Hendren is happy to announce the birth of Tomahawk Garnet Hendren on February 12, 2011 – 6 lbs, 11 ounces, 19¾ inches long.
Ronda Riemenschneider is thrilled to announce the early arrival of her son, Ronald Hayden Denver Riemenschneider. Hayden was born April 13, 2011, at 6:27 pm. He weighed 6 lbs, 15 oz, and was 20″ long. After a long day in labor, he was born via C-section. He was pretty mellow his first couple of minutes, then let out a yell to let everyone know he had arrived! From birth on, he’s been one snuggly little guy.
Asher Abraham Joseph was born April 21st @ 9:02PM. After 48 hours of labor, he came by c-section. My little acrobat had wrapped himself in his cord 3 times, but came out a healthy 7 lbs, 11 ounces. I am enjoying every moment of being a new mom. – Liz Joseph
ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER
This newsletter is published quarterly by Single Mothers by Choice Inc., a nonprofit founded in 1981. Annual subscriptions to this newsletter are included free with a membership ($55 for first year, $35 for renewal) or by subscription at $25 per year. Give a friend a gift. We are a nonprofit 501(c) corporation, and donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
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Jane Mattes, CSW, the publisher of the newsletter, is the founder of SMC and author of Single Mothers by Choice: A Guidebook for Single Women Who Are Considering or Have Chosen Motherhood. Jane is also a psychotherapist and can be reached at (212) 988-0993, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at the SMC office at Box 1642, Gracie Square Station, New York, NY 10028.
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