Single Mother By Choice


Single Mother By Choice

Single Mother By Choice

In Search of Fertility radio show features a single mother by choice.  Cindy Cohen’s clock was ticking, and she hadn’t met Mr. Right.  So she decided to use a sperm donor to have her baby as a single mother.  Cindy gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.  She shares the highs and lows of being a single parent.


Sperm Donor Cystic Fibrosis Photo

 The New York Times recently reported that sperm donors are passing serious, disabling illnesses to their offspring.  Popular, disease carrying donors that donate multiple times become Typhoid Harry spreading rare genetic disorders.  Aged sperm, just like old eggs, are prone to deteriorate and have increased risk of progeny with health issues.  Recently sperm that were donated 20 years before and frozen created an offspring with Cystic Fibrosis.  Enhanced screening procedures would eliminate the proliferation of diseased sperm donor babies.


In the movie The Back -Up Plan  Jennifer Lopez uses a sperm donor.  She has given up on finding Mr. Right, and her biological clock is ticking. Her anonymous donor impregnates her with twins. The same day as the insemination, she meets the love of her life.  Since this is the movies,  he ultimately accepts the twins, stays with Jennifer Lopez and then impregnates her with his own child. In my case my biological clock had already stopped, and my eggs were too old when I tried IVF five times with my own eggs.  My back-up plan was to use an egg donor.


In the movie The Switch, Jennifer Aniston has a baby with a sperm donor. She chooses a good looking hunk to provide the DNA for her baby.  Unbeknownst to Jennifer, her drunken, dorky best friend, played by Jason Bateman, has changed the sperm and provided his own.  Her son becomes a nerd too. This being Hollywood, when Jennifer learns years later of her friend’s deed, she forgives him and they become romantically involved. When I decided to use donor eggs, I already had found my husband for my second marriage. So I no longer searched for the romantic fairy tale ending. But I was afraid that a donor egg  switch might result in my donor misrepresenting herself. What if my worst nightmare came true, and she was actually a serial killer who pushed people off of the subway tracks? It took time for me to trust that my egg donor really would turn out to be all right.




The movie The Kids Are All Right brought sperm donation into the mainstream.  A lesbian couple, played by Annette Bening and Juliette Moore, conceived their two children through a sperm donor, played by Mark Ruffalo.  Annette Bening was even nominated for an academy award for best actress and Mark Ruffalo for best supporting actor.  When the previously anonymous sperm donor dad arrived to meet the kids, Juliette Moore’s character favored the rendezvous and began an affair with the sperm donor. Annette Bening’s character was against the meeting from the start, and I identified with her.  I did not want my future baby to meet its egg donor.  I was not afraid that my husband would embark on a steamy affair with the donor.  I also did not think that the donor would turn out to be a sociopath boiling a rabbit in a pot as in the movie Fatal Attraction.  But I did want my baby all to myself and did not want to compete with its biological egg donor mother.




My egg donor produced one baby, and her second donation resulted in another pregnancy.  My baby already would have two biological half siblings.  I could have played Sherlock Holmes and discovered the identity of these children.  Already there is a website for the 150 and still counting prodigy of a prolific sperm donor.  A mother of one of the children keeps track of the growing family tree so that in the future her son could meet some of his brothers and sisters.  I did not want built-in relatives that were complete strangers. I also did not want to jeopardize my position as the mother of my child by establishing relationships that were based on the biological egg donor mother.  But I would have been open to an incest website to prevent the growing possibility of an egg donor child of mine inadvertently marrying a half sibling. Of course, since many egg donor recipients never reveal their egg donor origin to their child, I still could have a grandchild born of incest.