Written by Penelope Farthing
This blog originated “No Wedding No Womb”, and we are advocates of character over color and choosing the best man for the job, not just to you, but to any future children that may result. But what if you chose a different path?
I came across a photo on Facebook, showcasing a baby shower of a black woman who will be welcoming her first-born child this winter. What is so unique about her upcoming bundle of joy is that she went through IVF to conceive, all by herself. From my very brief social media perusal, this woman is single (i.e., not married) and for all intents and purposes, opted in to single motherhood. I know nothing about her or her situation but since I have never seen this before, I wanted to talk about it.
Personally, I wouldn’t go to those ends to have a kid (but that’s just me). I do understand that many women have a biological desire to have their own children (ruling out adoption/fostering), and want to feel the highs and lows that come with carrying a baby to term. And, if you wait for the 10/10 perfect guy, especially if you limit your options to one flavor, so to speak, your ovaries may serve your last little egg an eviction notice before he appears. Furthermore, there are societal pressures placed on women to be fruitful and multiply, and the scorn and derision that a woman might be met with if she just doesn’t have kids.
So could choosing single motherhood be considered a viable option?
This is a whole different level of choice. I’m not well versed on IVF, but I do know it is expensive and can take a few cycles to work. This woman didn’t choose “the wrong dude” and got left a single mother. Nor is this a “whoopsie” baby. This is an informed medical decision many months/years in the making.
Given the hardships black single mothers face, I really hope this doesn’t catch on. Even in great, healthy 2-parent households, raising a child can be a struggle. Going it alone, even in the best of circumstances, could lead to difficulties that would not be faced by 2 parents, or even nonblack single mothers. Plus (same sex couples notwithstanding), I believe kids need a mom and a dad.
Given the shortage of marriageable, father-material black men on the mating market, is IVF something that black women, especially of a certain age, should consider? Why or why not?
What would you do?