Becoming a single mother or father by choice is becoming an increasingly popular approach to family planning. Being a single parent by choice is a beautiful and unique family experience that may be the perfect fit for you. No matter your reasoning, learn what to expect when entering the exciting (and sometimes stressful) world of single parenting!
What is a Single Parent by Choice?
A single parent by choice is an adult who chooses to have a child by in vitro fertilization (IVF), adoption, or artificial insemination, without a partner and without sharing the parenting with another person. There are many reasons one may choose to become a single mother or father by choice, and all of them are a valid form of growing a family. Becoming a single parent by choice continues to grow in popularity and has become more widely accepted, which means there are more resources available for this great parenting endeavor.
Becoming a Single Father by Choice
Adoption is a great way to start a family when becoming a single father by choice while also doing some good. There are many children out there looking for a parent and to join a family. Many adoption clinics prioritize married couples, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feel discouraged reaching out to an adoption agency if this is the path you would like to take to grow your family. As single parenthood rises in popularity, agencies are more open to single-parent adoptions.
Egg Donor & Surrogacy
If you want to become a single father without adopting, you will first need to find an egg donor. Luckily, there are thousands of egg donors who are willing to help you start your family. Similar to sperm donors, egg donors can be chosen by whatever characteristics you desire. Men who want to have a child on their own will need to use a gestational carrier. This process is typically done using IVF, where your sperm would fertilize a donor egg and then be implanted into the surrogate to carry the baby.
Becoming a Single Mother by Choice
Adopting a child can be a great option if you are considering becoming a single mother by choice. If you are not looking to conceive or birth a child yourself, there are many children up for adoption and looking for loving homes. Though married couples tend to be given priority, the adoption landscape is constantly changing and becoming more open to adopting out to single parents.
Artificial insemination is the process of becoming pregnant without having sexual intercourse with the use of a sperm donor. This can be done with intrauterine insemination (IUI) or with an intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Both of these procedures reduce the travel distance to the egg to ensure the sperm are in the right place, which helps increase the chances of a successful conception.
In Vitro Fertilization
If you have fertility issues or trouble conceiving with a process like artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization may be a good option in your journey to become a single mother. In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is the process of manually combining sperm with an egg in a laboratory dish for fertilization. The embryo is then transferred to the uterus. This process does require a sperm donor and can involve a more robust
Single Parenting Tips
Exhaustion is Normal
In “traditional” parenting situations, you typically have two pairs of hands, eyes, and feet to help care for a child. When becoming a single parent by choice, it is natural to feel that extra hit of exhaustion when you are the sole person caring for your child. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling tired. Instead, be proud of everything you’ve achieved on your own!
Loneliness May Happen
An unfortunate reality of single parenthood is that you may feel lonely from time to time. Going through an experience alone can feel alienating and overwhelming when it seems like nobody understands. This is totally normal, but you’ve got this! If it is feeling overwhelming, reach out for support, whether that’s from loved ones, a support group, or therapy.
Support Systems are Crucial
As a single parent, you need a support system. Your family and friends are a great start, but finding support in parenting groups can also be a big help. Finding a community of other single parents can help validate your experience and gain support from those going through similar experiences that your friends and family may not understand the same.
Self-Care is a Must
Don’t brush off the benefits of having time to yourself! As mentioned earlier, single parenthood means you might be feeling stretched thin. Prioritize self-care to avoid burnout. Even something as simple as meditating 10 minutes before bed can make a huge difference. Remember, caring for yourself helps you feel better and be the best parent you can.
The choice to become a single parent is not an easy one, but it can be a beautiful option to grow your family. If you’re going to take the leap to be a single parent by choice, do your research and find out what’s right for you. Single parenthood is a unique experience that can be stressful, incredible, and everything in between. If you choose to grow your family via intrauterine insemination, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or in vitro fertilization, Red Rock Fertility Center is here to help you through your fertility journey toward becoming a single parent by choice. Remember, this is your choice and your future family.