Saturday, May 31, 2014

Solo Mama on Purpose

When I started kicking around the [then terrifying] idea of having a baby without a partner, I knew the first thing to do was research. Easily the most useful book I discovered was Single Mothers By Choice, written by SMC pioneer Jane Mattes.

SMC offers all sorts of practical tidbits, including the risks of using a 'known' sperm donor:
"If you decide to conceive with a man you know, you should keep in mind that in most states he may have the exact same rights as any father regardless of whether or not you and he were ever married. The right to support and visitation from both parents is usually viewed by the courts as belonging to the child, and you cannot independently decide to keep the father out of your child's life if he wants to be involved, because the law in most states protects the child's right to both parents' involvement."
Though many known donors take legal-ish steps to relinquish their rights (signing documents of intent, going unnamed on birth certificates, etc.) the courts have begun forcing known donors into the roles of fathers.


The only way to guard against this is to use an anonymous donor from a sperm bank. If you don't know who the donor is, the courts can't pursue him for visitation or support.

Needless to say, SMC kept me from making many rookie-but-potentially-devastating mistakes on the path to mamahood.

So recently, and to my blushing glee, Forty Years, One Month & One Day was republished on the Single Mothers By Choice blog. I'm delighted to be affiliated with Ms. Mattes and her staff, and want to thank them for the wisdom and safe space they've offered me over the years. Couldn't have made it this far without 'em.

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