Marisa - Single Mother by Choice from Portugal
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.”
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.