A man is not a plan. Women need to let go of the outdated notion that Prince Charming will come to their rescue. You can’t count on a man to come into your life and for your future to only begin then. Women are choosing to get married later and later, if at all. Women are having children later and later, if at all.

 

Statistics SA research shows that fewer weddings are taking place each year while the number of divorces are on the rise. And across the world, the number of births to women over the age of 35 is nine times as high as it was 40 years ago. In addition, the number of ”first births” to women under the age of 30 has decreased.

 

Much of this is attributed to the growing financial independence of women and the increase in the cost of living around the world. These days, some women choose aspects like education, careers and personal priorities over marriage and having children.

 

If you’re starting to think about children and haven’t met a partner yet or met him a little later in life, these are some of the options to consider exploring.

 

Artificial insemination

Whether you’re struggling to conceive or don’t have a partner and want to have a baby alone, insemination could be your solution. Insemination is the process of intentionally inserting semen into the uterus or cervix with the aim of pregnancy. If you’re going through this process without a partner, you’ll have to make use of semen from a donor.

 

Surrogacy

If you aren’t able to carry a child yourself, for medical or personal reasons, surrogacy may be your best option. Surrogacy is an agreement to carry a child for prospective parents. There are two types of surrogacy – gestational or traditional. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate provides the egg and undergoes artificial insemination or IVF with sperm from the male or a sperm donor. The child that is born is genetically related to the surrogate. In gestational surrogacy, the child that is born and the surrogate are not genetically related. Instead, the surrogate carries an embryo that is created from the sperm and egg of other people. Recent case law provides that it is not necessary for a genetic link to exist between the prospective parents and the child, allowing for double donors to be used.

 

Adoption

If you are eager to have a child but aren’t concerned about the child being related to you, adoption can be the solution for you. Adoption in South Africa is becoming increasingly popular with many couples or singles choosing this method to become parents. It provides the opportunity to provide a loving home to a child who would otherwise not experience that.

 

Not having a child

It’s becoming more and more common for women to choose not to have children. The question often asked of these women is whether they’ll regret that choice later in life. But there’s no way of knowing the answer. A woman can only do what feels right for her life after considering all of her options.

 

More of these childfree women are being depicted in popular culture, making the subject less taboo. One of the women best-known for her decision to remain childfree and instead focus on her career is Oprah Winfrey who famously said: “If I had kids, my kids would hate me … because something [in my life] would have had to suffer and it [would probably be them].”

About The Author

I was born in the Eastern Cape, close to the waves. After getting my degree in Media, Communication and Culture, I knew it was time to make my way to a big city. Not wanting to leave the ocean, Cape Town was the natural choice for me. At first I thought the fast paced world of marketing. But I never forgot that what I'd always wanted to do was write. Now I'm a freelance writer, where my office is my bedroom and my platform is the World Wide Web. I live with my partner and our two beloved Great Danes. When not reading or writing you can probably find me on the beach or exploring nature trails.

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