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To knowingly become a single parent?

(76 Posts)
checkedblackandwhite Sat 01-Nov-14 08:49:17

I know drip feeding can be irritating and I will try not to do that. Here is my situation. I am 34 and I am single. While I haven't entirely given up hope of meeting someone I want to spend the rest of my life with I am not necessarily expecting this to happen. (Just to preempt any further questioning, I have tried the 'usual' methods of online dating, hobbies and so on, but most men and people for that matter I do meet are already married.)

I am fairly sure I want to experience motherhood though. I am a deputy headteacher of an infant school and love children.

One "obvious" way would be to have IVF, using donated sperm, or IUI (I'd probably go for IVF.) I'm a bit uncomfortable with this as I am worried the child would grow to resent me. I do have vague religious beliefs - I don't go to church - but I do believe roughly in the guidelines of the Christian faith and while this isn't explicitly stated in the bible as being 'wrong' I think it probably wouldn't be encouraged! I do know I need to justify whatever decision I make to a child when he or she grows up and this could be difficult if they are resentful of not having a father. (I would not be interested in having a relationship after having a child.)

The other route is adoption, and while this appeals on a moral level I'm worried about how I would cope with all manner of things. I know adopted children come from trauma - that's the sad nature of adoption. I like to think I could cope with this. What worries me is that they might seek their birth family at 18 and forget about me! I also would like to name or at least play some part in naming my child - it upsets me to think I'd never get to do this. I also hate the way 'adopted' is tacked into children who are - Jayne Torville (I used to be a figure skater!) has two adopted daughters and the fact they are adopted is always mentioned. Why can't the papers say that JT has 'two daughters', as according to the law, she does! hmm I'd hate people to feel the child wasn't mine in some way.

But adoption does appeal in other ways.

Other things I should mention: I am financially very comfortably off but this is due to the premature deaths of my parents, in my teens, I don't have any other family. I do have friends but they are 'widespread' and busy.

What would you do, if you were me (Please don't advise me to visit the adoption board, as I do lurk but have already asked there once and the responses weren't massively helpful.)

ApocalypseThen Sat 01-Nov-14 08:53:24

I'd go for it. Get yourself some donated sperm - you'll be delighted with yourself. Any parent could end up a single parent, I see nothing wrong in choosing to be one.

CountryMummy1 Sat 01-Nov-14 08:57:03

100% go for it. You never regret having a child but you can regret not having one. You will feel love like you never imagined you could. Just always be honest with them. Yes, when they are teenagers they might bring up the fact you chose to go it alone against you but if they didn't have that it would be something else. You could give a child a good, happy life. Best of luck to you x

ThinkIveBeenHacked Sat 01-Nov-14 08:57:27

Id go for sperm donor, however I always knew that I wanted to experience pregnancy as much as parenting. DH and I were lucky enough to be able to conceive, but we had already discussed the what ifs and I knew that adoption and or surrogacy wouldnt be a road we would go down. I had a built in need to do the pregnancy part as the start of my parenting journey.

slightlyconfused85 Sat 01-Nov-14 08:57:39

Yanbu. You sound intelligent and thoughtful and I'm sure you would make preparations for your child so he or she understands their route into the world. Go for it.

KnackeredMuchly Sat 01-Nov-14 09:11:31

You miss the overwhelming benefits of either choice.

You get to carry a baby through pregnancy, give birth to your flesh and blood, see that no harm comes from day one.

But adoption, you get to save a soul. Stop a child growing up unloved in care. They are 'matched' to you. They wont leave you at 18 - you will be their mother and their family. They will be yours.

The adoption process is long and arduous. But then pregnancy and childbirth takes a physical toll (a big one if you're unlucky)

It isn't easy to become a parent either way. Why not explore both options officially? Either side will be very happy to talk to you.

makeminered Sat 01-Nov-14 09:17:16

I'd say go with your heart.

Christelle2207 Sat 01-Nov-14 09:25:15

Can't tell you whether adoption or donor sperm is best for you but as someone who considered doing similar (then got lucky and met dh) I would wholeheartedly recommend you trying for a child of your own. My DS has entirely changed my perception of everything and I know I'd have wanted him even if I was on my own. I do think you would need to prepare yourself though for a tough time if you have no family support - my family (and DH obviously) have helped me with my son immeasurably. It would have been very difficult without but not impossible. But it gets easier and having a child is I have found a good way to make new friends.

MissMogwi Sat 01-Nov-14 09:26:18

There are thousands of children waiting to be adopted, so I would say it's a brilliant idea. You sound as though you would be well equipped and have love to give.

To address a couple of your points:
I was adopted in the late 70's and I can honestly say no one has ever referred to me or my sister as 'adopted children'. We are my parents children, and my sister will always be my sister despite the lack of a biological link.

We have both made contact with our 'birth families' to varying degrees, but never wanted to leave our family. I just wanted to meet them just to find out things about myself as a young woman.
Of course children who are adopted later may see this differently, I was adopted as a baby.

To me, a family is a unit that cares, nurtures and loves one another regardless of how many parents or a biological connection.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

BauerTime Sat 01-Nov-14 09:33:37

I would definitely pursue having a child in your shoes. Whichever route you go down I think needs to be a very personal choice but from what you have said I think you have already ruled out adoption as your first choice.

Rollontome Sat 01-Nov-14 10:00:15

You have doubts about adoption so it's not for you. Go for sperm donation. Better to have a child by yourself rather than one with the wrong person.

mutternutter Sat 01-Nov-14 10:09:31

Go for it. You may never meet Mr right or may meet him tomorrow but at mid 30s a plan is definitely needed
Best of luck

WooWooOwl Sat 01-Nov-14 10:14:04

I grew up without my Dad being around much, although he did provide financially for my mum and I. I spent a lot of time being jealous of other little girls that had their Daddy and wanting to know where mine was. Of course, my mum never knew how I felt.

If I knew that my mum had knowingly caused me to feel like that just because of what she wanted for herself, it would have caused resentment back then and it would cause resentment now that I'm an adult.

I'm sorry, but I think it's selfish to choose to create a child knowing that there's a strong possibility that they will grow up with some emotional distress because they've been denied one of their parents.

Giving an existing child a family has got to be better than creating a new fatherless child.

checkedblackandwhite Sat 01-Nov-14 10:18:22

It's interesting you should say that as I certainly haven't - but some issues with the process I'm worried about. I think I'd prefer to adopt as it just feels more moral somehow

carlsonrichards Sat 01-Nov-14 10:18:46

Go for it! I'd go for sperm donation.

Rollontome Sat 01-Nov-14 10:26:39

Woo; it's better to exist than not, op has no suitable man to reproduce with or sperm donation wouldn't be an option. By the time she finds one (if she does) her fertility could be gone. Adoption isn't for most people, there is a minority who can make someone else's kid their own and that's great but most of us couldn't do it. She doesn't sound that keen on it, just that it would be the 'moral' choice. In reality, people who adopt for the wrong reasons often end up causing harm through failed adoptions. Adopted kids need a lot more than biological kids and they need parents who understand and can provide that.

NeedABumChangeNotANameChange Sat 01-Nov-14 10:27:13

I'd vote for adoption, two of my best and oldest friends were adopted. Both have made contact with their birth parents and have a friendly relationship with them but their mum is who bought them up. Not all adoptees come from trauma either, plenty of babies from "normal" backgrounds are also looking to be loved.

Also bar the daily mail I don't think I've ever heard anyone refer to a child as X's adopted son/ daughter.

Rollontome Sat 01-Nov-14 10:28:14

You adopt because you want to provide a better life for a child, not because it 'sounds moral', that's a terrible reason.

mrsruffallo Sat 01-Nov-14 10:33:14

Yabu. You are still relatively young and msy meet someone. I would wait a few years then go down the adoption route. Sperm donation would be a no no forme, too clinical. It is ideal for a child (and you!) to have two loving parents, have a go at this for a bit longer first. Seriously, single parenting is tough, just have a look on the boards here.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Sat 01-Nov-14 10:33:17

I think adoption is the morally preferable choice, but that is true of any parenting. I have had a baby in the conventional way and that's the default for most people. I don't think you should feel forced into adoption just because you don't have a partner. I agree with a previous poster, it's more important to do what's right for you than to do what it is most moral on paper.

PrettyPictures92 Sat 01-Nov-14 10:35:26

I don't think it would be wrong. And if you're truly worried about said child using that they don't have a father against you when they're older just tell them that no, they don't have a father but what they do have is a mother who loved them so incredibly much that she went ahead and had them on her own. That speaks volumes to me.

mrsruffallo Sat 01-Nov-14 10:35:38

Whats wrong with describing it a more moral choice? Op has explained she is a Christian, this will inform her choices.

checkedblackandwhite Sat 01-Nov-14 10:40:36

Roll - basically I want to become a parent. Adoption is the route I feel comfortable with morally but it is also the 'harder' route for all sorts of reasons.

Rollontome Sat 01-Nov-14 10:44:12

If your only reason is that it's the 'moral' choice then you don't really want it. If you really wanted to adopt, you'd have good reasons entirely separate from some vague notion of 'morality'. Adopted children are human beings not objects that exist to make people feel like humanitarians.

Antiopa12 Sat 01-Nov-14 10:44:56

I would go down the sperm donor route. A friend did this , also a teacher, and it has worked out very well for her and her child. I thought it was a brave decision for her (a few years ago so she was a bit of a pioneer) but she was desperate to be a mum and her marriage had broken down and her biological clock was ticking. if I had my time again I would definitely consider this.

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