Voluntary Single Parenthood

Single parenthood used to be the most dreaded consequence of sex for a woman but an emerging trend in parenting seems to be voluntary single parenthood. In fact, the plot of the latest Jennifer Lopez flick revolves around a woman who chooses to get artificially inseminated after giving up hope of finding a man to naturally father her children.

The negative stigma surrounding this idea is no surprise. However, it begs the question: are the only women who deserve to have children of their own, those who find the man of their dreams in a timely manner, while their eggs are still viable? Some experts argue that two-parent homes are better for children. Still, wouldn’t a child be better off in a home with one parent who so desperately wants a child that she chooses to goes through the emotional and financial distress of artificial insemination than in one with parents who either have a child only because it’s the next logical step or because they were too stupid to use birth control?

Although I have a number of years before I will ever be faced with that decision, I have been contemplating what I would do in that position. I’ve always wanted to have children and know that I will adore them more than anything if that day ever comes, but I don’t know that I would ever be brave enough to go through with a medical procedure that would provide me that opportunity as a single woman. I may consider adoption, but even that would be a difficult choice for me to have to make.

In addition to the lifelong commitment it takes to raise a child, the decision is bound to lead to further complications when venturing back out into the dating world. As with all single parents, dating an individual who has chosen single parenthood would mean committing that person’s children as well. I understand this is the case in every instance of single parent relationships and that it might be less twisted in this particular scenario because the child’s father doesn’t further complicate the picture, but there are other implications that may arise.

For instance, a woman who chooses single parenthood is about as independent as they come and this can be intimidating. If a woman doesn’t need a man for procreation, she really doesn’t need a man. However, the man who can accept that can also rest assured that this woman is with him because she absolutely wants to be, not because her clock is ticking.

I'm interested in what other people think about this topic. As a woman would you ever choose to go this route? As a man would you consider adoption? How would it affect the way you view a woman?