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Single Mothers by Choice
By Jane Mattes
Single Mothers by Choice
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Review by Allison Martin

Single Mothers by Choice provides a thoughtful and experienced introduction to the issues of single parenting for women without partners who are considering motherhood. In 1981, author Jane Mattes founded the national group Single Mothers by Choice (SMC) as an outgrowth of her personal decision process of becoming a mother. Today, SMC provides local groups and workshops, an interesting monthly newsletter and several online discussion lists. This experience, and Jane Mattes' background as both a psychotherapist and single mother, makes Single Mothers by Choice an excellent guide to the psychological issues of becoming a single mother.

Although single motherhood has increased dramatically over the years there are still a number of social and legal implications facing single mothers today. Single Mothers by Choice briefly discusses the changing reaction of society to single mothers over the years and then digs into the personal decisions and issues you will face as a single parent. It begins with an analysis of the various methods of becoming a single mom - donor insemination, conception, and adoption. The decisions and ramifications of each are discussed. Next, Single Mothers by Choice covers the physical and social aspects of raising children as a single mother. These include the stress of a new baby, reactions from other people in your life, personal support, and significant legal issues. The most important discussion in Single Mothers by Choice is the detailed analysis of what Jane Mattes calls "The Daddy Issue." This excellent section is well worth the cost of the book. It provides a thoughtful look at topics such as how to answer your child's questions at various life stages, including men in your child's life, and alternatives to the psychological aspects of fatherhood and husbands. In sum, Single Mothers by Choice is an excellent guide for women in the process of making a decision about single motherhood.

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