Becoming a single mother by choice is an increasingly popular path to motherhood, as more women are making the decision to have a child on their own, whether through artificial insemination, adoption, IVF (in-vitro fertilization), or other means. In this article, we’ll break down trends in this path, what it means to become a single mom by choice, and what this path to parenthood is like.
How many women are single moms by choice in 2023?
Today there are more single-parent households than ever before, with the majority of those families headed by a single mom. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins, 64% of millennial moms have a child outside of marriage. Across the United States, 25% of families are headed by a single parent, and 80% of single-parent households are moms. To put it another way, 21% of children primarily live with a single mother according to Pew Research.
“It is estimated that 4 out of 10 births are to unmarried women in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control birth statistics from 2021. And according to Cryos sperm bank, 54% of their customers in 2020 were single mothers by choice,” shares Dr. Jackie Ho, MD, MS at Reproductive Partners Medical Group, a partner IVF clinic of Sunfish. “The decision to become a single mother by choice is not an easy one, and I find it rewarding to work with these patients to achieve their family building goals.”
What’s it like to be a single mom?
“Being a mom by choice has made my life complete, and I wake up every day overflowing with love. I hope everyone can experience this sensation,” says Ba Minuzzi, Founder & CEO of UMANA, and mother of a 1 year old boy. “The fact that we can choose to be moms on our own these days and create our own families is no coincidence. Being a mom by choice is a big decision – but no bigger than deciding to have a baby with a partner. Giving birth to life is a big responsibility and the reward that comes with it is even bigger: unconditional love. I’m a founder, CEO, and keep a very busy schedule and I can guarantee it’s possible to live a very very present life, I do, with endless quality time with my son.”
“There will never be a perfect time to have a baby, so if it’s something you want, don’t let your relationship status stop you,” says Gwen Clark, a Denver resident and 34-year-old single mom by choice to her 4-month-old daughter, Harper. “One thing I’ve heard other ‘single moms by choice’ say is they wish they had done it sooner, and now that I have my daughter I totally agree.”
“I always thought I would have a child but didn’t envision doing this on my own. When I got to my early 40s. I was still single and realized it was now or never, so I decided to take the huge step to become a single mom. After I had my first child, I wish I’d done this sooner!” – Claudia L, Donor Concierge client and single mom of two.
How much does it cost to become a single mom?
There are different options to become a single mom, ranging from a few thousand dollars to over $25,000. For those with insurance, their plan may require a diagnosis of infertility or 6-12 months of trying to get pregnant before it will cover treatment.
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a common option for single moms by choice, which can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $4,000. Another option is in vitro fertilization (IVF) which can cost up to $25,000 per round, including donor sperm, medication, retrieval and transfer. Donor sperm can range from $400 to $2,000 per vial according to Forbes.
“As a Reproductive Endocrinologist, I’ve seen an increase in patients who have made the decision to pursue single motherhood by choice. They understand the limitations of a woman’s biological clock and have been empowered to move forward with family building on their own terms,” adds Dr. Jackie Ho, MD, MS at Reproductive Partners Medical Group.
What resources are there for single moms?
Nonprofit organizations like Single Mothers by Choice provide community, support, and resources specifically to women on a journey to single motherhood. Many communities have formed their own local groups as well. For those looking for financial resources to afford their journey to motherhood, we at Sunfish offer access to a number of loan options and lines of credit as well as support from a financial advocate.
“At Sunfish, we have the honor of supporting all family types,” says Angela Rastegar, founder and CEO of Sunfish. “We work with single moms by choice who are seeking guidance on finding a sperm bank, IVF clinic, and affording the medical steps. Many women with high earning jobs are choosing to have children on their own, and we expect this trend to accelerate.”
For those looking for financial resources to afford their journey to motherhood, we at Sunfish offer access to a number of loan options and lines of credit as well as support from a financial advocate.