Single Mothers by Choice

“Thanks to the generations of women who have gone before us, women today can take control of their life and family, designing it in a way to fulfill all the desires we have- desires for family, for companionship, for friends, for leaving a legacy for the next generation.” -Dr Mary Ramie Hinckley

RSC supports family

At Reproductive Science Center, we feel that the choice to become a parent is an individual one, which is why RSC welcomes single women who want to use assisted reproductive technology to begin their families. Whether you consider yourself a Choice Mom, Single Mom by Choice, Single Mom by Design, or just “Mom,” we understand that each scenario is unique and will work to put you on the path towards the family you desire.

RSC pledges its support throughout the process- from providing referrals for the best donor sperm agencies to legal and psychological support. No matter your situation, we will use the best practices in medicine to help you conceive.

Single motherhood today

“Women today are under a lot of pressure to find a suitable spouse before time runs out on their biological clocks. As women become more secure in their careers, they are less willing to wait, even if it means going solo,” says RSC’s Dr. Susan P. Willman. About one in ten of Dr. Willman’s patients are single women, compared to just a handful a decade ago. If they cannot find their partners “in time,” women are increasingly willing to start their families and hope to find their mates later.

Not all fertility practices admit single women for treatment, although the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) ethics committee states, “As a matter of ethics, we believe that the ethical duty to treat persons with equal respect requires that fertility programs treat single persons… Unless other aspects of the situation…such as serious doubts about whether they will be fit or responsible child rearers or the fact that the program does not offer anyone a desired service…”

Childbearing by unmarried women has increased to historic levels, according to the most recent data from the Center for Disease Control National Vital Statistics Report. Nearly four in 10 babies born in the United States were born to single mothers. Of 4.3 million total births nationally, 1.7 million were to single mothers.

Rosanna Hertz, author of “Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice: How Women are Choosing Parenthood Without Marriage and Creating the New American Family,” estimates that approximately 2.7 million American women are single mothers by choice.

The process

RSC physicians feel that single women are entitled to understand their current fertility potential as well as all of the options available to them, including:

  • Egg freezing for fertility preservation
  • Donor inseminations for a “natural conception”
  • In Vitro Fertilization if age related changes are already underway or if the tubes are non-functional
  • Using anonymous sperm from an agency or a known sperm donor
  • Using donor eggs if a woman’s egg quality is suboptimal
  • Testing and screening embryos to determine their health prior to transfer

At the initial consultation, we will take a careful history and perform a physical exam to better understand how your medical history will direct your choice of treatment.

We will also perform a vaginal sonogram to detect-and ultimately treat- any gynecologic problems BEFORE you spend time and money to conceive.

Finally, we will ask thought-provoking questions to help you determine your long-term goals for family.

Challenges of single parenting

Being a single mother by design has unique social, financial, and psychological considerations. These may include:

  • Possible complications in pregnancy requiring time off from work or bed rest
  • Assistance after delivery while on maternity leave, especially when sleep deprived and breast-feeding
  • Cost of day care, sick child leave, and working within a single income
  • How to tell your child about their biological origins and why you chose to be a single mom
  • Finding male role models for your child and a supportive community

Support and counseling through this process are essential and we are there to help you. When you choose to undergo a treatment cycle at RSC, you will have a team to support you that includes your physician, a nurse case manager, and a financial counselor. We will provide care from the start to the finish- sending you off to your Obstetrician near the end of the first trimester.

Monique’s Story

“I have always dreamt of being a mother and started considering single motherhood after decades of unsuccessful relationships…I tried IUI, but was diagnosed with ovarian reserve failure and would not be able to use my own eggs. I was devastated and didn’t know where to turn. Then I was referred to RSC.”

“Everyone, from the receptionists to the nurses to the doctors, was so positive and welcoming. I was so accustomed to hearing negative things about how my body wasn’t doing what it needed to do, but at RSC I was always reassured that the doctors had a solution for any problem, and they did. The people of RSC were amazing, nurturing, and caring folks who honestly want to create families. They understand that families come in many forms, including same-sex and choice mom families like my own….” Read more>>

Single Parenting Resources

Choice Moms, an online resource, was founded by Mikki Morrissette, author of “Choosing Single Motherhood: The Thinking Woman’s Guide.” Choice Moms also produces special events and activities that provide guidance and support to single mothers and their children.

Single Mothers By Choice, founded by Jane Mattes, C.S.W., a psychotherapist and single mother by choice, is an advocacy organization that provides information, resources, and an international support network.