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Choosing Single Motherhood

by Mikki MorrissetteBe-Mondo Publishing; $25.95

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I began Choosing Single Motherhood thinking I’d found a book for single women struggling with the question of whether or not to become parents. What I found was that, plus much more. Author Mikki Morrissette coins the term “Choice Mom” to refer to any woman who decides to become a parent on her own. In her book, she gives a virtual history of this movement up to the present day.

She estimates that, in the U.S. alone, more than 50,000 unpartnered women say “yes” to motherhood each year. While researching her book, she interviewed more than 100 Choice Moms. Their experiences put faces on this growing trend.

Morrissette also examines the studies that have prompted negative views about single parenting: Children who grow up without a father in the home are more likely to drop out of school, to become promiscuous as teenagers, to be delinquent. She notes that these hundreds of studies do not apply across the board to all single parents, because they primarily compare divorced or otherwise “disrupted” households to two-parent homes, while overlooking “the many emotional traumas of divorce on kids.”

The book explores various methods of becoming a single mom, including domestic and international adoption. From there, the author addresses practical questions, such as, “Can I afford it? How can I develop a support network? Will I have the strength and energy to be a good mother?” And then offers practical solutions, such as cultivating a solid support network, including male role models who can, as she puts it, “provide the yin to your yang.” She also suggests developing signs or codes (such as one to signal “time out”) to keep parent-child communication strong.

Choosing Single Motherhood is easy to digest and a good resource for all Choice Moms, no matter how they choose to become parents.

Reviewed by Lee Varon, author of Adopting on Your Own: The Complete Guide to Adopting as a Single Parent (Farrar, Straus & Giroux).

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