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No Mr. Right?
YISKAH ROSENFELD never had baby fever. She didn't long for a child or hear her biological clock ticking in the giggles of other women's newborns.
Yet, by 42, Rosenfeld, single with a full and happy life, decided it was time. If she didn't at least try to conceive, she'd regret it for years to come.
"I realized that for me part of what it is to be human is to be a parent," says Rosenfeld, an Albany poet and educator who is pregnant from artificial insemination through an anonymous donor. She is due this week. "I bought into the myth that you only have a child if you have a partner. It took a while to overcome that fantasy."
Rosenfeld accepted that Mr. Right may not show up in time. And since adoption can be a long, challenging process with no guarantees, particularly for single parents, it is estimated that 50,000 women a year start families on their own, according to Mikki Morrissette, founder of the Minnesota-based online forum Choice Moms. It is an estimate, because the fertility industry is not required to report on these statistics.
Many single women use known or anonymous donors through sperm banks such as California Cryobank in Los Angeles, the nation's largest. Scott Brown, the bank's director of communications, estimates that within 20 years, single heterosexual women will represent more than half of its clientele. Brown says about 10,000-12,000 single women a year visit a sperm bank.
Those numbers are reflected in two films this year, last April's "The Back-up Plan" and "The Switch," which opens Friday.