Though tradition will always have it’s place, when it comes to the family we can’t help but be pleased that this long standing institution has slowly been receiving a much needed modern makeover. This is good news for those individuals who desire to have children but have felt, whether due to their single status or fear of existing social stigmas, they would be unable to do so.
In the past, the concept of the single mother has always been accompanied by a heavy social stigma, let alone assumptions about her social-economic standing, which have led to many single parents, and mothers in particular, suffering from unfair judgement. We wouldn’t disagree that there has been a tendency to see a higher percentage of single mothers in those cultures considered less affluent, single parents should never be painted with a single brush.
As more and more opportunities arise for women to become as successful as their male counterparts, we find that women are more comfortable making those large financial decisions that 20, 15, even 10 years ago they may not have been confidant making on their own – this includes purchasing property, and becoming a parent.
Though you will inevitably find scientific studies that decry the single parent household, and those which necessitate the presence of a man and a woman to raise a healthy and well-adjusted child, you will also find successful arguments to the contrary – Jodie Foster, Stephen Colbert, Jay-Z, Michael Phelps, Pierce Brosnon, and even Barak Obama all come from single parent households.
For women looking to become mother’s on their own terms, there are a few safe options available to you:
Adoption – Adoption is a viable option for a woman looking to become a parent, and there hundreds of thousands of children looking for good homes. Whether open or closed, domestic or international, an infant or a child with special needs, be sure to do thorough research before embarking on the process.
Conception – The “tried and true” method of conceiving a child, conception can occur through sex with a partner or insemination, either by a known or unknown donor.
At First Steps Fertility, we provide a myriad of services for women who want to conceive. If you have any questions or would like to know more about the services we offer for single individuals, please contact us.
As a single woman, you may feel that you will be subject to more criticism and judgement from family, friends, even strangers, for this life altering but personal decision. Regardless the path you choose, having a support network is key to successful parenting – from pregnancy until you see them off to college. Seek out like-minded women (and men) to discuss your decision with beforehand, either in person, or online through support organizations like Single Mother’s By Choice (www.singlemothersbychoice.com).
While we’ve spent the majority of our time discussing the single mother household, it should go without saying that although markedly less common, we cannot discount the single father household, and those men – hetero- and homosexual – who are more than willing and able to take on the responsibilities of both mother and father. Internet famous celebrity blogger Perez Hilton is the sole parent of two children, both of whom were born via a surrogate. Though Hilton’s situation is obviously unique (for one thing, we can make an assumption that the hard-working entrepreneur is in relatively good financial standing), as he lives his life under a lens he is no doubt familiar with the societal judgement associated with single parenting, particularly as a homosexual.
There are still those in the world harboring a skewed view of what it means to be a parent, but it seems as though society as a whole is becoming more comfortable and more accepting of the idea of the single parent. If you consider it takes a village to raise a child, single parents are never really alone anyway.