It seems women are leaving it ever later to have kids. The reasons for this are complex and varied. Based on personal observation I would hazard that the ever increasing childhood/career period for some men coupled with a desire on our parts to wait for the ‘right’ circumstances might have something to do with this. Unfortunately, waiting for the former to end and the latter to begin is a precarious thing to bet on. This is perhaps the reason why some Danish women are beginning to buck the trend.
There are a growing number of ‘Solomor’ (elective heterosexual women who are choosing to be single mothers) emerging in Denmark. This is a trend which has been on the rise, especially since the introduction of free fertility treatment in 2007. In many fertility clinics up to 50% of clients may be single heterosexual women and they predict by 2020 this figure may rise to 70%. Denmark embraces assisted fertility wholeheartedly (Denmark has the highest number of births by assisted fertility in the world) and as it currently stands one in ten babies in the country are conceived using donor sperm from a sperm bank. A significant proportion of these are solomors.
So who are these women?
85% are well educated (half have a master degree or higher) and are typically aged 31-45. It is perhaps worth pointing out here that for the most part the single mother was not the preferred option, which is to say that they did not set out to be solomors but rather that personal circumstances and the desire to be a mother converged at a crucial point. A baby with a male partner was desired but, for some, finding one to father a child was a difficult proposition. As one woman points out, a law graduate and therapist, 41 from Frederikssund, ‘I met men who mostly seemed to be interested in their careers- or their play stations- so I began to lose faith. I wasn’t anti-men: I adore men! I just couldn’t find one who wanted kids.’