October 13, 2005

Sperm Banks

Many single women still find the choice to get pregnant met with incomprehension or even hostility from friends, family and some strangers. The most common accusation is that they are selfish, because of the widely held belief that two-parent homes are best for children.

"I had one psychologist friend actually suggest that I 'channel' my (neurotic?) need to parent into volunteer work in a children's hospital," wrote one mother on a support group Web site. "Can you say 'condescending'??"

Mothers who choose their solo status say the problems that have traditionally burdened families headed by a single mother - poverty, abandonment by fathers, teenage motherhood, parental conflict - do not apply to them.

But some suspect that what makes people uneasy is not so much their status as single mothers but that they achieved it by short-circuiting the traditional act of procreation. Experts on nontraditional families say the use of anonymous donors without a more conventional reason, like infertility or homosexuality, may seem more threatening to men's role in the family.

Dr. Hertz, the Wellesley sociologist, said that while nearly all the single-mothers-by-choice she studied actively tried to incorporate men into their children's lives, their presence was seen more as an enrichment activity, like piano lessons or summer camp, than a necessity.

Some single mothers do relish their autonomy, which they say can more than compensate for not having a partner to help change the diapers. Every decision, from what to name their children to how to discipline them, is theirs to make without negotiation.

Maybe they should start this service in the middle east. Results would be amusing. :)

No comments: