Single mother by design?


Single mother by design?


your avatar   Lara, 31-year-old woman

For several years I have been looking for someone who I could perhaps marry and start a family with. I have always wanted at least one child. After my most-recent breakup, I am feeling like I will ever find that person.

I am wondering if I should adopt a baby on my own or maybe be artificially inseminated. I feel that I have the money and resources to raise a child on my own, but I would much rather be married. My clock is ticking and I'm not sure if I'm jumping the gun on this.


    Margaret Burr, MA, MFT


Thanks for your letter.

You don't say how recently your last relationship ended, but it sounds as though the way it ended destroyed your hope of finding a life partner.

My guess is that you are still hurting, still angry, and still feeling disappointed, rejected or betrayed, because of the depth of this loss. Through this relationship, you invested in the dream of a husband, home and family, so it makes sense that you'd avoid making that same investment again, at least while the pain is still fresh. You don't want to risk being that vulnerable again - at least for now.

This self-protective mode is probably necessary right now and your instinct - to focus on yourself and what you need - is very appropriate.

You say your "clock is ticking."

Yes. But I suspect that this has less to do with your biological clock (which has, after all, many years left to tick) than it does with the expectations and goals you had in mind for you. My guess is that you are not only disappointed in the relationship which ended, but at your trust and belief in it.

And so, you are doubting you. This self-doubt is, of course, the reason you are writing to an online counselor for advice. Your thinking probably goes something like this, "I can't trust myself to pick the right man, so I can't trust myself to make an important decision like choosing to raise a child on my own." You are questioning your judgment, based on the disappointment you felt when you trusted your judgment before - in the relationship.

Again, your intuition is razor-sharp. If you have to ask someone whether or not you should raise a baby alone, you probably don't want to raise a baby alone.

My recommendation to you Lara, is simply that you allow the feelings you have - the anger, sadness, disappointment, hurt, abandonment, rejection, betrayal, etc, to emerge before you invest in another long term relationship commitment - particularly the relationship commitment we call "motherhood."


Margaret "Peg" Burr, MA, MFT

This question was answered by Margaret "Peg" Burr. She is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC34374) with a private practice in Santa Clarita (near Los Angeles). She performs psychodynamic psychotherapy with individual adult clients as well as couples, teens, and families. She also runs groups for adults and adolescents. Her specialty area is Object Relations Systems Theory. This branch of psychodynamic psychotherapy uses a client's interpersonal relationships as windows into his or her intrapsychic structure.For more information visit:


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