Donor Conception Network review (U.K.)

Book Review .....Choosing Single Motherhood: The Thinking Woman's Guide By Mikki Morrissette (2005) Published in the USA by Be-Mondo Publishing ISBN: 0-9772042-0-0

The author of this extensively researched 340 page book is the mother of two children conceived by insemination with a known donor. The first part of the book explores issues relevant to women who are making the decision about whether to pursue single motherhood. This includes assessing motivation, financial implications, grieving the childhood dream of raising children within a loving relationship, community reactions and the impact on a child of growing up without a father.

The next section covers choosing the method, including the known donor option, anonymous and open identity donors. As the book is written for US readers some of the information about legal issues and donor selection may not be relevant here ( for example in the States it is still possible to opt for anonymous donation) but the ethical issues remain relevant. There is a chapter about adoption which reflects the policies in the States which differs from the situation here.

The section entitled day to day parenting includes coping with stress, the importance of a support system, a discussion on talking with children and others about their conception, and confronting identity issues. It is helpful that some accounts of difficult experiences are included, including a moving account from a mother of two children with special needs. There is information about policies around the world, including the removal of donor anonymity in the UK.

Of great interest to me as the mother of a seven year old, was the chapter which includes interviews with young adults and teenagers raised by Choice Moms, as the author refers to them. This includes Ryan Kramer whose mother set up the Donor Sibling Registry in the States. It was a small sample consisting only of those who were willing to share their thoughts, but most of them were well adjusted and reported healthy and nurturing relationships with their mothers. There is an extensive list of references and resources at the end of the book, including website addresses.

The book is a useful addition to the literature available for single women considering parenthood, as well as those of us who already have children.

written by Gwyneth Wray, dcnetwork.org

Choosing Single Motherhood - www.choosingsinglemotherhood.com


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