Raising a child alone - is it unethical?


Being a parent is tough. But we love our children so exceedingly, that life without them would become an empty, worthless, nothingness.

Being a single parent is a spinning world of insanity. But I love the madness so much that I fear the silence when the little people are away.

I've always advocated the mantra that families come in many forms. And I’ve always sung the praises of those familial units that break the mould or step outside the nuclear confines, despite the fact that for the longest time my own family comprised the traditional set-up. 

Families aren't always mum, dad and the troops. There are plenty of tight-knit little units, who make it work regardless of how the dynamics play out.

This is especially clear to me now that I'm forced into the non-nuclear domain, however it has led me to ponder those who might choose such a path as a matter of priority rather than necessity.

Would I, could I, ever make a conscious choice to have a child on my own? How does one reach the conclusion that life as a single parent is an option?

I’m very mindful of the fact the two adorable little people I share my life with are a blessing. They complete me. But some of my friends have not experienced that blessing yet.

Some of my friends are approaching 40, with no partner, no immediate prospects of impregnation and a clock that is resonating so loudly it could register on the Richter scale.

It's like watching an action movie with the time-bomb ticking and the hero nowhere to be found. F*** Tom Cruise and his Mission Impossible – no hero is coming. Besides, the damsel in distress is not so hopeless. She is self-sufficient and capable and very prepared to love and nurture a baby.

Nor does the damsel have time to waste looking for Mr Right. Instead, she is coming to terms with the fact life doesn’t always play out like a script from a Hollywood movie.

These women are deleting their profiles from RSVP and lining up for IVF treatments, artificial inseminations and adoption agencies to take charge of their own future and pursue their own goals.

Now that takes guts, a steely determination, and a real sense of self empowerment to follow through on such a long term commitment – alone.

One friend, who is considering this path, put it this way:

“So many of my girlfriends have children in unhappy marriages, failed marriages and failed relationships, then they have to hand their children over to someone else every second weekend. Why would I force a relationship just because I was desperate for a child? Just so I could fit into what is socially acceptable?

“If I have a child on my own I won’t be putting any expectations on anyone else and nor will I be disappointed if those expectations are unmet. It will be my choice and my responsibility.”

Becoming a parent it seems is much simpler in our modern day. You can pick up a child on eBay for a pretty penny or you might just be lucky enough to win one in a lottery.

Either way, the traditional method, while lots of fun, is no longer the only method of bringing a human into the world.

The question remains however, is it ethical to deliberately bring a child into the world with just one parent, whether it be a father or a mother?  And what might be the outcome for a child in this scenario?