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[英伦广角] 2014-05-03 单身女性人工授精生育不断上升

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Lennie and Bebe have the same father, but he’s not part of their lives. That might not be so unusual. But what is, is the way mum Lisa Mead got pregnant. With no husband or partner and time ticking, she opted for donor insemination as the route to motherhood.

"I don't think anybody has gone about it deliberately because they don't want a man around and a lot of women are hoping that a nice man will turn up now the children are there, but the pressure is off, you know, to try to find that person in the time that you’ve got in order to become a mum."

A growing number of women are certainly choosing a similar path. In 2007, 259 single women had IVF treatment. By 2012, the number had more than doubled to 632. And donor insemination for women without a partner also increased from 340 to 468 over the same period.

“It became easy for single women to pursue motherhood with the introduction of the 2008 Human Fertilization and Embryology Act. What that did was remove reference to the ‘need for a father’ when going for fertility treatments, instead replacing it with the requirements to provide ‘supportive parenting’".

And before it gets to the stage of laboratories, plenty of checks should be carried out.

"It's not taken very lightly by the woman or by the clinic. There are very responsible rules. We make sure that there is support from family and friends, and most of the time, there is, and we offer them counseling before they have treatment."

There are nearly two million single parents in the U.K. And the vast majority have been through a separation. But critics say that’s different than opting to go it alone from the outset.

“I am quite horrified. I think it’s very offensive and undesirable to reduce the role of fatherhood to a donation from an anonymous sperm donor. There’s much more to fatherhood than that.”

It’s an idea that will never sit comfortably for those who disagree that having a baby is a woman’s right. But for Lisa and others like her, only by becoming a mother could life be made complete.

Emma Birchley, Sky News, South London.
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