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In an interview, Rosanna Hertz can discuss the following topics that are highlighted in her new book SINGLE BY CHANCE, MOTHERS BY CHOICE:
  • A new American family on the rise

    Single mothers who have had the conscious decision to be parents without a man by their side are quickly becoming the new category of family in America.

  • Who are these women?

    Famous moms have made headlines (Diane Keaton, Calista Flockhart, Meg Ryan, Camryn Manheim, and maybe Halle Berry now to name a few), but most of these single moms-by-choice are middle-class, educated women, who had an overpowering urge to become a mother. They struggle with the same concerns other mothers deal with, and they are not without love or romance in their lives ­ they just do not always have someone who wants to be a co-parent with them nor are they willing to wait for one.

  • The decision to become a single mother is one that is not made lightly

    Several factors are weighed significantly by the women grappling with this decision. These factors include: using a known donor, using an anonymous donor, trying for adoption, deciding to chance getting pregnant, and figuring out how to tell family and friends about this decision.

  • The trend of using known donors

    Hertz reveals a trend that is growing for single mothers that is rarely talked about ­ the concept of the “known donor.” When people think of single moms by choice, they automatically think that the woman chose to use an anonymous donor from a sperm bank. What they don’t know is that many women are opting for known donors ­ be it through a sperm bank or by asking a male friend/someone they know to be the biological father of the baby.

  • The trend of chancing pregnancy

    Also rarely talked about, Hertz shows us how many women opt to “chance pregnancy” in order to become moms. These women have sex either with a partner (someone who they are involved) or with a one-night stand and choose not to use birth control in hopes of getting pregnant ­ either way, the man is not expected to be an active part of the child’s life.

  • Why the media rarely focuses on single motherhood via adoption

    Adoption is one of the most popular routes that single moms take to get their babies, yet this option isn’t as discussed as much as the idea of sperm donors is. The U.S. is actually one of the least open countries to adoption by single women which is why moms-to-be more often turn to foreign countries for babies.

  • Single moms-by-choice have become “reluctant revolutionaries”

    These are women who wanted to become mothers and were not trying to break any social norms ­ or engage in feminism gone wild. In the process of becoming moms, though, they actively chose not to have a man as a co-parent, and that does challenge what we consider to be the American family.

  • Critics of single moms say these women are trying to create a world without men

    Some critics argue that by choosing not to have a man as an active co-parent ­ or by choosing artificial insemination over old-fashioned sexual intercourse ­ these single moms are severing sex from reproduction. By doing so, they are again seen as again redefining what it means to form and be part of the American family. Are these criticisms justified?

  • What role will men play in this new American family?

    Single moms-by-choice must deal with how to have a male presence in their children’s lives. Even though studies are unclear about whether a man as a parental figure actually provides something special and different for children, single moms are not trying to create a world without men. They just need to figure out how to provide a male role-model for their children, whether it be through a soccer coach or a favorite teacher or an uncle, etc. The moms also need to decide how active they want the paternal kin (if they are known) to be in the children’s lives.

  • Why don’t we have a national registry of donors in this country?

    The United States does not currently have a national registry of donors, unlike the UK, for example. In the United States, that means that donors have rights (to stay anonymous or not), and the children they produce do not. Currently, there is also no regulation of donors. Why is this, and should we change it?

If you are interested in interviewing Rosanna Hertz about any of the topics above, all of which are treated in her new book Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice, please contact either Christian Purdy by email at christian.purdy@oup.com or by phone at (212) 726-6032, or Claudia Dizenzo by email at claudia.dizenzo@oup.com or by phone at (212) 726-6147.