Artificial Insemination Options for Single Women

There are times when a woman is ready to have a baby and for various reasons, chooses to do so on her own, using artificial insemination. While becoming more acceptable in our society, it can still be difficult for a woman who chooses to have a baby by herself to not only raise the child, but to deal with the reactions of others. Luckily there is support out there for single women choosing artificial insemination to have a baby.

Dealing with Others
One of the major obstacles that a single woman undergoing artificial insemination will have to deal with is the opinions of others. Some people believe that a child should only be brought into the world if it will have both a mother and a father, failing to see the benefits of just one loving parent. Others believe that artificial insemination is something that should only be used when a woman is physically incapable of having children, not because she doesn't have a male partner to father a baby. While friends, family and strangers' reactions may not bother some moms, they can take quite a toll on others, making them question their decision and perhaps even change their minds. To combat the negativity of others, it is important to have a support system, whether it be a relative who encourages the decision or an official group. 

Finding Support
There are different ways you can find support if you're not already part of a support group. Your doctor or clinic may have information about local groups. You can also find support through Resolve: The National Infertility Association, which has locations across the country. Their Web site is www.resolve.org.    

Single Mothers by Choice is another group that can guide you through the process of having a child on your own. Single Mothers by Choice can help you navigate the routes open to single mothers as well as decide if being a single mother is right for you. Its members are women in similar situations who offer each other advice and encouragement. You can find them at www.singlemothersbychoice.com.

You may also want to consider getting a book on the subject. Single Mothers by Choice: A Guidebook for Single Women Who Are Considering or Have Chosen Motherhood by Jane Mattes, C.S.W. is a book about having a baby on your own. It covers the options that single women have, including artificial insemination.

Clinics May Refuse
Some physicians and reproductive clinics may be less than supportive of a woman's desire to conceive on her own. The US Centers for Disease Control report that 16% of fertility clinics refuse to treat single women. There's no law requiring physicians to provide treatment, so you may need to check with several centers before you can find one willing to treat you. Talking to sperm banks in your area may help you find doctors who are willing to treat you.

You'll also need to be prepared financially, since health insurance won't cover the procedure. If you're able to conceive naturally, costs can range from $1,000 to $5,000 for intrauterine insemination (IUI). More involved procedures, such as in vitro fertilization, range from $25,000 to $75,000.

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