SINGLE women are flocking to IVF centers to have babies solo as it becomes more socially acceptable for women to fore-go the wait for a perfect partner.
Data from two of Melbourne’s biggest fertility clinics shows that since the January 2010 introduction of legislation giving single women access to IVF treatment, more of them are taking up the option.
“Many single women who feel their biological clock is ticking by and have not found Mr Right, or even Mr Not Too Bad, are now opting to use donor sperm,” said Monash IVF international medical director Prof Gab Kovacs.
Monash IVF alone has treated 418 single women since 2010, with the number of IVF cycles up from 323 in 2010 to 469 in 2011, and the clinic has already performed 353 cycles so far this year.
The most common age for single women seeking treatment at Monash IVF is 40.
Another provider, Melbourne IVF, said there was a sharp rise in single women seeking treatment in 2010, followed by a 15-20 per cent increase in 2011, while 2012 is on track for a similar rise.
The most common age bracket for single women was late 30s to early 40s, said Melbourne IVF medical director Dr Lyndon Hale.
After the break-up of her marriage in her 30s, Kris Reynolds, now 44, and an executive coach at Lets Talk Career, decided that a Labrador, a corporate career and Lean Cuisine dinners just wasn’t enough.
“I had a successful career, had my education, got to master’s degree level, traveled the world, ticked lots of boxes, and had always wanted to, at some point, have a family,” she said.
With her fertility declining and no man in the picture, she decided, with the support of her family and friends, to use IVF and is now a solo mum to twins Eliza and Madden.
“I was surprised at how accepting people were,” she said. “I had prepared myself that it was something a little bit out of the ordinary.”
Ms Reynolds said she was like every parent, with good days and bad, but not a minute went by where she thought it was the wrong decision.
“When I have those not-so-great days, I think that there were eight or nine people in that waiting room that never got their baby,” she said.
“So I’m just very lucky that I’ve got two and they’re happy and healthy and that wonderful word: normal.”