Saturday, November 18, 2006

Single Mothers by Choice

I don't understand why so many people are upset about this class of women deciding to be single mothers. I mean we've had women in the lower classes as well as the rich doing this crap for decades and no one was the least concerned. Now suddenly responsible career women, who've worked productively all their lives and contributed to society, decide they wish to be mothers and it's the end of civilization as we know it.

It's not that big a deal.

This woman has worked, she has a career. That child will do just fine. He'll be no more of a burden then any of the millions of ghetto mothers' or some rich bimbo starlets' irresponsibly produced children will be.

Actually having a baby in this manner takes planning as well as stable finances. Anyone can see this as it's already cost the woman $10,000 in IVF treatment to have her child.

If people want to pick on some irresponsible reproductive behavior why not focus on some of the two categories I mentioned above. Those that produce vast amounts of children through irresponsible reproductive behavior which eventually become a burden on the taxpayers in most systems.

This child and others produced like him will not become that...their mothers will make enough income to support them quite comfortably...

This woman is rather plain, although she appears nice enough from the story. Yet, she might have never met a man who was willing to settle down and have a stable long-term relationship with her, however. As let's face it, in our media-obsessesed world most men want the women they marry to be much nicer looking then this poor girl.

Not to mention that at her age, she'll probably never meet anyone if she hasn't met them already.

YET she'll probably be a fine mother, dote on her only child and ultimately raise a fine, healthy, productive son--all without the use of a male overseer to monitor her behavior.

Imagine that.

Many are condemning her as selfish. Well guess what ALL parents are selfish. You have to be to bring any children into the world we've created for them today. So if you are going to tag women like this as selfish, then prepare for that's the next step when all these wonderful unselfish people lead us down that road.

Last point: men better get used to this happening more and more today, as women are getting highly fed up with their behavior...even all this custody crap they started recently to avoid child support, ie., as in Fed-ex's and Brittany's Spears' custody fight.

Men are rapidly sliding into irrelvancy with all the trouble they are causing.

As I've said many times, a test tube is cleaner, quieter, and a heck of a lot less trouble then the average man is today...and these women are proving my point.

Daily Mail
24 hours a day

Motherhood is my right

By RUTH YAHEL Last updated at 08:22am on 16th November 2006

A growing generation of single career women are reaching their late 30s unmarried but still desperate to become mothers. Many are embarking on parenthood alone - and their quest will soon be made easier.

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt wants the law changed to allow single women and lesbians to have fertility treatment without the need to prove there will be a father figure in the child's life.

Here, Ruth Yahel, a 41-year-old TV production executive, explains why she decided from the outset to be a lone parent, and why - in her opinion - they should not be vilified:

When I was in my 30s, I remember feeling pangs of longing whenever I held friends' babies. My biological clock was ticking but it was never the right time, never the right relationship.

Even when I reached my 39th birthday, I didn't feel I had yet become one of those women destined not to have children. Then, at the start of 2004, my married sister - the mother of a baby boy - asked me whether I still wanted children. When I said 'yes', she asked me how I thought 'that might happen'. My initial reaction was one of annoyance, but her words sparked something inside me. I was fast approaching 40 and a potential loss in my fertility, yet I had a desperate desire to have a child.

In every other area of my life I had made conscious decisions about what I wanted.

But when it came to what, potentially, was the most important thing of all, I was leaving everything to chance. I had always been rather intimidated by career women who would categorically state that motherhood was not for them. I couldn't imagine letting go of the idea unless I had to.

Sometimes I envied them and thought how liberating it must be not to have to worry any more. But, mostly, I feared falling into the group of women who don't get around to having children and end up bitterly regretting it.

Like most women my age, I had tied in all hopes for children with the desire for a lasting relationship. It had never occurred to me to see the two things as something separate. That evening with my sister, it suddenly dawned on me that these two things might never coincide. I had to act - and quickly.

I was lucky enough to have a friend, Nico, prepared to father my child. We met in Italy in 1991 when I was teaching English as a foreign language in a private school. Nico was one of my students. He was married at the time and I was in a relationship, and we became close friends - although sex was never on the agenda.

Long before I'd started worrying about my fertility, he once suggested having a child together and I'd laughed it off. Now I thought about it differently.

I was fortunate in that I already had a genetic father, Nico, who wanted to be an active figure in the child's life, so I decided to go for it.

Before embarking on the process, I went to a clinic in London to make sure I had no fertility problems. With hindsight, I wish I'd done this when I turned 30.

A lot of women spend their 20s and 30s trying to not get pregnant and it's only when they want to that the problems begin to surface. In my case, the damage had already been done.

Endometriosis had affected my ovaries and Fallopian tubes. The only option now was IVF. Two cycles of expensive IVF, costing £5,000 each, followed. I had counselling before and during fertility treatment to help me through the outcome.

I took stock of how I'd come to this point. It was my time to reflect on my fears and concerns, my time to feel sorry for myself (and at times I did) that I wasn't going to have a child within a conventional relationship.

It was like a mourning process. But I would leave each session feeling strong enough to work towards my chosen goal.

On February 7, 2005, I celebrated my 40th birthday at a party thrown for me by friends and family. Many people in the room didn't know I was having IVF treatment, and I didn't touch the champagne they handed me. I knew that in a week's time, I would be taking a pregnancy test and finding out if I was going to have a baby.

The wait was nerve-racking. When I took the test and it was positive, I was stunned. I couldn't believe that such a clinical process had resulted in a pregnancy.

Nico, my friends and family were all delighted. If they were sad that I wasn't going to have a child as part of a couple, they didn't show it. They knew that I already bitterly regretted that myself.

Luca Gabriel, was born naturally in October that year after a healthy pregnancy. My mother and sister were there and Nico held his son minutes after he was born. We chose his name together. I felt totally vindicated. I had my baby and nothing else mattered.

Now I feel utter relief and joy that I found the courage to act. But at the same time, I feel anger and frustration for other women in the same position as I was.

I believe that modern motherhood is in crisis. Women have been told they can and should compete equally in the workplace. We invest a huge amount of our time, money and energy in the pursuit of this so we feel we're achieving something.

But somewhere along the line we've all too often had to leave behind motherhood. As much as I hate to admit it, these two roles do not fit naturally together.

In your working life you have some control - you have a structure and, hopefully, you feel a sense of accomplishment and are rewarded both financially and emotionally.

As a mother, your day has little structure; you're busy all the time, yet when asked: 'What did you do today?' you can hardly recall what filled that time and why you didn't get out of the house.

When we think about returning to work, we worry we won't be flexible enough to respond to the work environment and that we'll have to compromise on material and personal pursuits. We worry about lack of money and free time.

Most of all, we feel like bad mothers for handing our babies over to childminders.

And employers don't always do all they can to dispel those fears.

Of course, being a mother, especially a single mother, is hard work. But once you've made the decision to go for it, you will find the time and energy you need and make it your priority. You learn to live a different life with your child. I've had considerable support from my workplace and have been able to work flexibly around my commitments to my son.

Things that seemed so important to me before - material things, my appearance, going out to smart restaurants - seem less so now.

The main accusation levelled at woman who, like myself, have chosen to be single mothers, is that we are selfish. People say it wasn't meant to be or accuse you of being rash and irresponsible.

But there is nothing irresponsible about the thought processes and procedures a single woman has to go through to have her own child or adopt.

As the son of a women who became a single mother by choice, at least Luca won't have to go through the pain of his parents splitting up. He knows his parents' relationship has clearly defined boundaries.

He will have access to his birth father and extended family, and will know as much of his own cultural heritage as he chooses, because I was lucky enough to have a suitable known donor. Even though Nico is now teaching in Rome, he sees Luca every few months.

I was no more selfish than any other woman conceiving. We all want to feel our baby in our arms, hold them close, smell their sweet skin, relish their triumphs and watch as others coo over our child.

In the end, we are all selfishly driven as parents. We are driven by our own need to procreate, and we feel it's something that as human beings we should do - even if we have to act outside the bounds of convention: the desire to have a child doesn't go away because a woman is single.

Motherhood is something that every woman has a right to try for. When there is no father figure, a woman will do much soul-searching on how to provide male role models for her children.

I was worried, of course, that Luca wouldn't see his father every day. I didn't know for sure what effect this would have on him, but I vowed that I would do everything in my power to compensate for that and try to limit the damage.

I agree that a good marriage or relationship may well be the best family background you can offer a child, and it's something I still want for myself. But it's most definitely not the only responsible way to do it.

And I would say that single parents planning for children are most acutely aware of the difficulties involved. They understand their own obligations and probably deal with their children's needs as sensitively as possible because they've had to struggle so hard to have them.

Hopefully, our children will be less likely to complain that they were overlooked or taken for granted.

I still hope to find a great relationship in the future. Maybe Nico will have children of his own; maybe Luca will have a sibling via conception or adoption.

Undoubtedly, Luca will have friends who come from single-parent homes via more conventional circumstances, if divorce rates are anything to go by.

Last year, I took part in the Channel 4 series The Baby Race. It brought together a group of single, incredibly brave women, all united by our quest to be mothers.

We formed a support network for each other that is still going with many more members. Of all ages and backgrounds with different routes to motherhood in mind, we always had a common goal.

I remember meeting them all for the first time at a photoshoot and being completely overwhelmed by the feeling of solidarity and unconditional support from a group of strangers.

Some of us have managed to have and adopt children, some are no longer single. The majority, however, are still trying for and awaiting their babies. Their children will have an upbringing full of love, hope and possibility.

Single women can change things and set a good example to those around by exercising their right to have children and bringing them up compassionately and with dignity in the face of any scepticism. The face of modern motherhood is changing and we must accept that.

Luca has just turned one-year-old. I planned a family party at home with cake and presents. Nico came over for the weekend.

The last year has been a whirlwind. I don't realise how much he has changed my life until occasionally I'm without him, and I walk into his bedroom and look at the empty cot. When he's not around, something is always missing.

I wouldn't go back to my old single life for anything. My overriding message to women in my position would be to make a positive choice about whether to try for motherhood. Don't leave things to chance and don't feel powerless simply because you haven't met the right man.

It is your decision, and yours alone.


Anonymous said...

I don't really have much of a problem with the woman in this story. If a woman is fertile and she wants to get pregnant no one can really stop her. She wasn't but she paid for her own IVF treatment so thats fine.

This is what I have a problem with:

"Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt wants the law changed to allow single women and lesbians to have fertility treatment without the need to prove there will be a father figure in the child's life."

Ok, if men have all these supposed privilages then will the law be changed so that men in the UK can have children like this at the expence of the taxpayers?

NYMOM said...

It's pretty simple really: because of expense and the fact that men having children require a surrogate mother.

It's one thing for the government to pay for and allow a sperm donor to be used. Basically they are paying a small sum for a guy to read a few Playboys and ejaculuate into a plastic cup.

With a surrogate mother involved, you are going to a whole other level of expense on top of taking advantage of a woman who needs money. As there is no reason on earth for a woman to go through all the difficult and painful procedures involved with being pregnant and giving birth EXCEPT that she desperately needs money.

But I think most people who ask these questions already know the answers. This is an attempt to continue the gender neutral farce that feminists and men have been trying to make of motherhood for years now...

AND I don't think it would make any difference to the distractors of this woman in the article, whether or not the government paid for her procedures or she paid for it herself, as they would be against women doing it either way.

This is another red herring...

Another ploy on the part of men to sidetrack women who are independent of one of them.

I mean what's the point of claiming the UK government will pay for the procedures when you effectively passed laws that it's illegal to be an anonymous sperm donor in the UK anymore? What woman (other then the one in this article who clearly wasn't thinking very clearly when she signed up for this) is going to take a chance that some sperm donor can show up at anytime in the future and have her and her son dragged through an expensive and ongoing custody battle?

Most women would not take a chance like that.

The whole point of women going to this kind of trouble to get pregnant outside of normal channels is so that they don't have to face one of these custody wars incited by some man in the future. Clearly it negates the whole point to do what this woman did with someone you she's actually got the WORSE of both worlds...she's doesn't have a traditional father to help out on a daily basis, YET she has given someone the exact same legal rights to her child as herself...

It really didn't make much sense.

Anyway, when the UK banned anonymous donors it killed the whole point for most of the women who would have children using a donor.

Thus the whole issue is moot anyway.

Few women will avail themselves of the government services, as the dealbreaker would be that you couldn't use an anonymous sperm donor. Otherwise, you'd be signing yourself and your child up for years of litigation AFTER birth and potentially loss of custody within a few years down the road.

The woman in this article wasn't thinking very clearly when she did this...and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if her 'sperm donor' didn't show up again in a few years time and wind up wresting custody of her son from her and just moving to Italy with him.

I predict most women who wish to have children in this manner will just leave the UK and go to countries where they can use an anonymous donor and get pregnant there...otherwise they put themselves and their children at risk later...

Anonymous said...

Interesting spin you put on it.

If men and women are supposed to be equal then why cant men say "It's my right to be a father!" and recieve government funding to assist him as women will be getting soon in the UK.

You need a man and a woman to make a baby so why does only one side get funding for single parenthood? That's not 'equality' at all is it?

As for the sperm donor clinic question, your right, it is a moot point but not for the reasons you state. Sperm banks have dried up because removing anonymity means men are now being hit for child support. As far as I know no male donor has ever sued a woman for custody of the child, at least not in the UK.

As for your last comment about women going abroad to get pregnant what can I say. Yes, women will always have this choice and I'm sure a few will exercise it. But I can't see the majority of western women going for this option because having an overseas 'recreational sperm donor' rules out free-loading some child support doesn't it?

NYMOM said...

"It's my right to be a father."

It's not government that denies men the right to be a 'father' but God, nature or evolution which has deemed WOMEN as the bearers of life.


Fatherhood is not a naturally occurring event, like motherhood, but rather a social construct.

Government allows you equality in the things it is possible for us to be equal in, bearing children for men is not one of them.

Thus, your rights to do anything ENDS the moment they infringe on someone else's, ie., as in having to force women to bear your children for you. AND yes, it is force when you use economic power over someone else to manipulate them.

BTW, no anonymous sperm donor was EVER hit up for child support.

That's a lie made up by the men's movement to justify support of a policy which was clearly nothing but a spite-driven policy against single women, like the one featured in the article above, who were wishing to be mothers but never met the right partner.

AND yes, many women will go overseas as they will figure out the motivation for this policy and not wish to burden themselves and their children with an endless custody battle afterthefact. Since you continue to try and paint this change in policy as about child support, when, in fact, it is not...

It is about men still trying to exercise control over womens and childrens' lives, even though you voluntarily chose to not be married or have families.

You made your own choices, yet you still continue to wish to control womens' choices in this area because they are different from your own.

Learn to live with your own choices and move on with your lives...

Anonymous said...

Having grown up with the idea that single motherhood stigmatizes a woman, I have NEVER viewed this as an option for myself, that is until I found myself pregnant.

I'd always known that if I were to get pregnant in the relationship that produced my child, I would not carry it to term. The relationship lasted more than 8 years. I was very comfortable with the arrangement. I had not wanted children, and he already had three. When I found out I was pregnant in June of this year, I thought I miscarried shortly after taking the home pregnancy test. When I went to the hospital, and heard, at 7 weeks, the immensely powerful and life-changing sound of that heartbeat, I knew that I was going to be a single-mother - there was no way I could end the life that was producing such a strong and powerful sound.

It never occurred to me that by making this choice to be a single mother I was making such a profound statement. I am in my mid-thirties, am educated, have strong financial means, and while I lived most of thinking only of my single self, am finding it easy to transition into the idea of being someone's mother.

In reading this, I am finding a sense of the power of being a woman and not waiting for the requisite man+marriage in order to start my family. I appreciate the thoughts that have been provoked and can feel a shift in my perspective about choosing to become a single mother.

NYMOM said...

Well I guess I have to ask how does the child's father feel about this unexpected pregnancy as he already has three children. Is he okay with having a fourth child now????

NYMOM said...

You know I love how people decide to link with you w/o asking any permission and then the link is a snide negative comment about's almost like a sneaky way to get around the comment moderation I've set up.

Not that I wouldn't have published her comment, mind you. As I've published far worse.

What galls me is that I was totally supportive of the woman in the article being a single mother...yet still get side swiped by, you guessed it, another woman.

When oh when will women stop viciously sniping at one another...

Anonymous said...

The father is not pleased with this new pregnancy, and is not okay with having a fourth child now.

NYMOM said...

Well you will have to proceed extremely carefully in this situation as even the other kids and their mother(s) will side with him in this situation, believe it or not.

They will follow his lead, as you will be seen as bringing a rival to the table, thus potentially reducing their share of his resources.

Selfish but realistic...

Additionally the courts will not be friendly to you either, if it winds up there...hopefully it won't...

Take care.

Unknown said...

I am the daughter os a single mother by choice, my mother was financially sound she was getting older and she decided to have a child on her own. I don't know who my father is and even thought my mother was extraordinary as a mother, my whole life I had to carry the burden of growing up fatherless. I think is totally unfair to the child, the thoughest time for me was my teenage years where I suffered a lot for not having a father. I don't think that single mother really think about the fact that their child is going to grow up and how it's gong to be affected, and most of the time the topic is very harsh to speak with mom so we avoid to make them aware of hor much really affected us. Even thoutgh I've learned ot ocpe with it I feel is a vital part of me that was deliberately cut off from me and I don't think is fair for the child at all.

NYMOM said...

Maybe it's not fair but, guess what, life's not fair.

There are millions of women and men who irresponsibly procreate with partners they pick up on the street or in bars and I don't hear people ranting about I was just pointing out IF there is a choice between the two the person who plans to be a single parent is a more responsible parent then the recreational procreator...


Anonymous said...

I am meeting a donor next week and plan to try as long as it takes to conceive through NI.

The post from the single parent child worries me considerably. I know I will always be honest with the child about their conception, but worry that they will also resent me for the fact that I CHOSE not to have a father for them. I honestly think I can do just as well on my own but there are bound to be times when the child wishes for a father figure. One of my friend's children (all of the children I know are from broken homes I might add) thinks that her daddy doesn't even like her "as a friend" because he hasn't seen her or contacted her for 11 months now. He pays no child support and was initially the one who convinced her mother to keep the child. I am desperate to avoid heartache such as this, but is choosing a donor for a father possibly not simply making this an inevitability through absence? I'm committed to becoming pregnant and this is the only concern - as NYMOM points out I have gone over every bit of this decision with a fine tooth comb and it has not been a decision that was easy to make. Many of my friends actually advocated having a one night stand but my morals wouldn't allow me to knowingly create a life with an unwitting partner and then be able to say "Woe is me! I am a single mother because he doesn't want it!".

I guess I just have to hope that with the right upbringing and an open environment my child will see that I have their best interests at heart. I am unfortunately sure that many of their peers at school will suffer divorce or similar family upheaval and not be so lucky.

NYMOM said...

Well just to let you know Anonymous, you'll have to be careful if you are 'meeting the donor' the only way you and your future child will be totally insulated from your donor taking it into his head to launch a custody fight against you is for him to be totally anonymous.

So, I know it's expensive but for your child's sake you should go to one of those sperm banks and have a truly anonymous donor...

Courts have consistently given donors rights when there has been prior contact with the mother before conception, even brief contact.