News and Research
My solo flight into parenthood
Like many of the women that I have spoken with I had always imagined myself with a family – presumably coming about in a somewhat conventional manner. However, when I found myself single and with my fortieth birthday approaching, I knew I needed to act promptly and act alone. The imminent ticking of my biological clock forced me to have to rethink the “fairy tale” ending.
Whilst I felt some grief at doing it alone, I also felt empowered at taking my fertility into my own hands and commencing the process to have a child via a clinic-sourced sperm donor. Thus one week prior to my 41st birthday I discovered I was pregnant with a much-longed for baby. Whilst I was thrilled, I also experienced an array of other emotions I wasn’t expecting such as apprehension, self-doubt and fear.
I can now say that it was the best decision that I made and I’m incredibly grateful to have my son, Taine, in my life. I’m only three and a half years down the track of parenthood, but I can’t imagine a life without him in it. This experience has also taught me that while things don’t always turn out the way you thought they would, it doesn’t mean they won’t turn out just great anyway.
As I was living in Sydney at the time, I was fortunate that New South Wales has the same legislation as New Zealand regarding open-identity sperm donors. So if Taine chooses to do so, he may contact his donor at 18. At this stage, with the help of a book entitled “Our Story”, Taine has an understanding of the fact that he has a donor and where his almond-shaped eyes and dark hair come from.
I’ve been lucky enough to have wonderful family support which has enabled me to return to my studies. This has also meant that Taine has a wonderful relationship with his grandparents. I am currently completing my dissertation on the experience of being a single mother by choice in NZ and interviewed seven fabulous women to gain more insight into this growing area.
Rochelle facilitates our Single Mothers by Choice support group, which meets regularly in person in Auckland, and also has a closed Facebook group for women all around Aotearoa. Contact Rochelle for more information, firstname.lastname@example.org.