PrivateBlogMarisa - Single Mother by Choice from Portugal
Single Mother by Choice, Parents to donor-conceived children

Marisa - Single Mother by Choice from Portugal

Marisa and her donor-conceived child Jose Maria

Marisa always wanted to become a mother, but after finally realizing that she was happier living on her own without a partner, she needed help to achieve her dream of parenthood. Read how Marisa´s story and how she became a mother to a donor-conceived child.

The journey towards single motherhood

“My son, Jose Maria, is the biggest joy of my life, and I am very happy that I used donor sperm from Cryos to fulfil my dream.

I have always wanted to become a mother, but it was never really on the table with any of my previous partners. In 2005, I finally realized that I was happy living on my own - without a partner. The only thing missing, was someone to share my life with, to teach, to care for, and to show how I see the world. I was missing a child. At that time, I started to research the possibilities of receiving fertility treatment as a single woman in Portugal. Back then, it was not possible to undergo fertility treatment in Portugal as a single woman. Fortunately, the law was changed in 2006, and after that, I really started to consider the possibility of becoming a Single Mother by Choice.

When I talked to other people about the idea of becoming a single mum, a lot of them advised me to meet a man and have a child with him, without his knowledge. But that was not the way I wanted to do it. I wanted to be able to control the process myself, so I chose to receive help from a sperm bank, because I wanted my son to be born out of love, not deception.

When I looked at the potential sperm donors available, a very important factor for me was an extensive donor screening process. At Cryos, it was possible to see medical tests, blood type, and a thorough examination of the donor’s family genetics. I wanted my child to be healthy, and by choosing a sperm donor from Cryos, I succeeded in that.”

Marisa is pregnant with a donor-conceived child

Starting fertility treatment with donor sperm

“I used a lot of time and energy researching whether it was possible for me to receive financial support from the public system in Portugal. Unfortunately, it was not, so instead, I started a crowdfunding campaign. Luckily, there were a lot of kind-hearted people that wanted to help me on my journey towards parenthood and once I had enough money for fertility treatment, I started. Looking back, I wish that I from the start had gone to my clinic, because once I stepped through their doors, I felt at home. Today, I am the happy mother of my son Jose Maria.”

The importance of support from family and friends

“One of the most important factors when being a Single Mother by Choice, is the support from family and friends. In 2020, when I finally decided to become a single mother, I moved to another city to be closer to my parents and grandparents so they could help me and get to know Jose Maria. I also changed my job to make sure that I had time to be there for my child.

In general, my family and friends reacted very positively to my desire to become a Single Mother by Choice. I received a lot of support, especially from my mother, which made this whole journey possible. During the week, my mother and grandmother support me a lot, which has made our relationship even stronger. I also have a good relationship with my sister and nephews. When I see the love between Jose Maria and his cousins, I want to give Jose Maria a brother or a sister. It is not going to be easy, but as a mother, nothing is impossible.”

Advice for women considering single motherhood

“There will probably never be the perfect moment to become a Single Mother by Choice. In my case, the pandemic hit right when I made my decision to become a Single Mother by Choice. It may be tempting to keep postponing because you want to wait for the perfect man. But sometimes he does not show, and I advise you to think about single motherhood before it is too late.

There are a lot of concerns surrounding the life as a single mother. By sharing my personal story and thoughts, I hope to help other women who consider single motherhood feel less alone.

If you want to follow my journey, click on the link to my Instagram account marisadapalma. You can also read other stories, like Simone Stalberg, that used a sperm donor to become mothers to a child.