A River of Surprises

The Next Family

By: Sheana Ochoa

Single mom, fiance and son

Last Saturday my boyfriend took me to the restaurant we went to on our first date and proposed. I’m thirty-nine years old and getting married for the first time. Some would say I did things a little backward: getting an anonymous sperm donor and becoming a single mother by choice (SMC) before meeting Mr. Right. Despite what many people think, from my experience, many SMCs would prefer going the traditional route by having a child with a father, but women have a limited window of opportunity to bear children and so a difficult, thoughtful decision must be made if she wants to have a family. This growing trend of SMCs is fascinating. It couldn’t have happened prior to the strides of the 1970s women’s movement. I can’t help but wonder how this generation of kids born to SMCs will be assessed.

I recently watched “The Kids Are All Right” in which the sperm donor resurfaces once the kids are of age and wreaks havoc on the family. My donor was not an open donor so my son won’t have the opportunity to get in touch with his biological father. I still maintain that as long as a child is loved and nurtured, it doesn’t matter if there is one parent or four parents; she/he will turn out “all right,” and even better than all right because so much forethought and planning is involved in bringing a child intentionally into the world.

In the case of my son, he is two and will only know my fiance as his father. The question now is, am I still an SMC? I still feel like one in the sense that I went through the process, pregnancy, and the first two years on my own. I can share my experience with other SMCs, but it’s true: I’m no longer single and I wonder how I fit in to the Los Angeles chapter I co-founded with a fellow blogger on TNF: SMC-LA. That also goes for this blog for which I am labeled as a single mother. Of course, single mothers can be vastly different from SMCs—the child having access to, or at least knowing, his biological father is only one variable of many.

I’m not one to label, but I should ponder my new role as a blogger for TNF. My fiance is Jewish. I’m a gentile. Does that make us an interfaith couple? He’s also half-Arab and I’m half-Mexican. So are we interracial as well? I’ll leave that up to the editors to decide. My how life is a roving river of surprises!

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