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Single Mothers by Choice: A Guidebook for Single Women Who Are Considering or Have Chosen Motherhood Paperback – May 10, 1994

4.1 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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  • Single Mothers by Choice: A Guidebook for Single Women Who Are Considering or Have Chosen Motherhood
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  • Choosing Single Motherhood: The Thinking Woman's Guide
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  • Choosing You: Deciding to Have a Baby on My Own
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In this well-written and informative book, Mattes examines aspects of single motherhood. Her study functions as both a handbook for those who are single mothers by choice as well as a guide for women who are considering taking the plunge. Mattes's suggestions run the gamut from ideas about becoming pregnant or adopting to dealing with relatives, neighbors, and strangers, from parenting and answering the "daddy" questions to handling the legal aspects of parenthood. Appendixes include addresses of support groups, sample legal agreements, and a list of further readings. Although there are a number of books dealing with single parenthood, Mattes's guide deals with a special subset of that group: women who have chosen to parent alone. This very clearly written book is recommended for both public and academic libraries.
Kay Brodie, Chesapeake Coll., Wye Mills, Md.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Inside Flap

The first handbook for the paoidly growing number of American women choosing single motherhood, written by the director of the national organization, Single Mothers by Choice.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 1st edition (May 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812922468
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812922462
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
I spent 7 years with a man I did not love because I saw it as my only way to have a child. When the relationship broke up, I cried for the next two years, thinking I could never have a baby alone. Too bad I did not know about this book or maybe I would already be a mother.
I always knew donor sperm banks existed, but could no amount of therapy or encouragement helped me to accept that option. And none of the males I encountered accepted to help me conceive. As I read this book my opinion on the use of known donor (such as the man I did not love) versus anonymous donor sperm totally changed and I am now thrilled that we live in an age where options exist for single women.
For anyone who is thinking of becoming a single mother but can't make the jump, this book gives the many positive reasons for becoming a mother now, even if Mr. Right hasn't come along. Although it does not deny all the difficult issues of being a single parent family, it provides solutions to these problems as well. Reading this book made it clear to me that single motherhood is the right answer for me, and I was able to quit crying and do something to make my dream come true. For other women I know it has helped them feel OK about NOT becoming a single mother.
This book is very readable and tells stories of women with whom you can identify. It gives some resources at the end, and helps connect you to the support group available in most cities. I highly recommend it as a starting point for those who are considering having a child even though they have not yet found their life partner.
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There are a lot of books about there about being a single mom, but this is the only one I've found about deciding to become a single mom. Single Mothers by Choice is an organization comprised primarily of women in their thirties and forties who, for whatever reason, have not found a permanent relationship, but still want to be mothers and create families. I would guess that most of the readers of this book are educated professional women with ticking biological clocks who might have liked to raise children with Prince Charming in a traditional family setting, but that opportunity did not arise, so they are considering other alternatives. The book is directed at women who are not in a permanent relationship with someone who will assume a serious parenting role in the child's life; unmarried women who are part of a committed partnership, either straight or lesbian, and have already decided to start a family, might not find the book to be very useful. (In other words, although the book discusses adoption and donor insemination, this book's primary emphasis is NOT as a resource guide for couples who have already decided on adoption or insemination.) Jane Mattes, the author, is the single mother of a 17 year old son (at the time the book was written) and a counselor who has traveled around the country meeting with many single mothers by choice. The book discusses all of the things that a single woman should consider before embarking on motherhood, and provides lots of guidance and anecdotes for women who have made the decision. (I found the stories of other SMCs to be particularly helpful; reading about how some of the women's parents reacted to their decisions made me feel much better about the conversations I've had with my own parents.)
This is not a feminist manifesto.
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Format: Paperback
This book has been very helpful. Women who choose to be single moms have different issues from women who found themselves (through death or abandonment) to be single moms. This book gives a nice overview of many issues and gives lots of good resources in the back. It also spends some time talking about the thought that goes into becoming an SMC and how to get help with this crucial decision. For many, discovering a pregnancy leads to the discovery of single motherhood. For SMC's it's the other way around. The book also gives time to going through the process and then NOT choosing motherhood and ends with practical "parenting alone" information. Any woman (or man) considering choosing single parenting should start with this book. It's not packed with tons of info, but it's a good starting place.
The only reason I couldn't give it five stars is that it's a little negative about encouraging women with less than stellar financials to embark on this road. Not necessarily poor advice, but we "poorer" women need hope too.
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Format: Paperback
When I read this book, there was a sense of coming home. Here was a woman who understood where I was in my life. I always thought I'd meet the right man and have kids. My life was full and meaningful, but I hadn't met the man and I wasn't a mother.
This book gave me the information I needed to get on the path towards being a single mom by CHOICE. That coupled with the singlemothersbychoice.com list serve gave me the strength and support I needed to begin trying to be a mom.
I had lots of questions about choosing between a known donor or a sperm bank. The book has a sample contract between the known donor and the mom-to-be. In the end, I decided to use an anonymous donor, but the discussion was helpful.
If you are thinking about becoming a single mom, buy the book and think about joining the organization... and at [the cost of] a year membership, you aren't exactly making Jane a rich woman. I will be forever grateful for her pioneering a term and a movement which has given me a beautiful daughter.
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