There's a website called "Corporette" which describes itself as "a fashion and lifestyle blog for overachieving chicks". There's a post up there about how a woman can go about freezing her eggs:
Ever considered freezing your eggs, either because you wanted to postpone kids for your career or because the right partner seems to be in hiding?
So that's what "overachieving" women do? They freeze their eggs because they want to postpone kids for their careers?
Anyway, the corporette author discovered that it's considered more viable to have embryos rather than eggs frozen. So her plan is to follow up having her eggs frozen by later on freezing some embryos fertilised with donor sperm:
I’m still considering freezing embryos in a few months, because I think that would be the right decision for me. I do want to have children (ideally, one biological and one adoptive). On the whole, I am comfortable with donating unused embryos to research.
What an attitude. She has decided already that her family will consist of one child conceived with donor sperm and another child adopted presumably from overseas. Has she wondered if her future husband will be OK with this? Or that he might prefer to have a say in whose children he ends up raising? And doesn't kinship matter at all anymore? (A point made by Laura Wood in her comments on this story.)
Why has it all come to this for Ms Corporette? Why hasn't she already found a man to marry and have a family with? That's difficult to know from a distance, but she does tell us that "I pride myself on being an Independent Woman," which is not exactly likely to attract the most traditionally oriented of men. She tells us too that she is not
going to have (yet another) years-long relationship without any concrete direction; I am 34...At this age I feel better about knowing what I want...
Which makes it sound as if she is one of those women who couldn't bring herself to admit openly and definitely to wanting marriage and children and so who drifted along in relationships with unsuitable men.
Some of the comments are also noteworthy:
Anon woman: This is something I’ve always considered. I’m only 26, but my mom struggled with fertility at 24. I’m married, but I’m just starting out (I’m a 3L) and I don’t want to have children for another 10+ years. I am considering freezing embryos as soon as I begin Biglaw next year.
So this woman is married but refuses to consider motherhood until she's about 35 (i.e. until just the time when her natural fertility begins to plummet). Her priority in life is not her children but "Biglaw".
Other commenters revealed that they took the option when reaching their early 30s of becoming single mothers by choice:
Anon: I was 33 when I decided I was not going to wait any longer. I didn’t want to be in the situation where I needed to think about fertility treatments or being pregnant at an older age or being a parent at an older age. I went to fertility doctor and chose an anonymous donor.
a: I’m seriously considering doing the single-parenting thing (it’s crazy, but is it worse than never having kids when I really want them?)
Always a NYer: My point is that not having the biological father around shouldn’t deter or make you feel less as a parent.
AFT: from the time I was teenager, my mom always said that if I wanted children I should just have them and I didn’t need to be married and I shouldn’t wait around for a husband. She thought that it was important that I could have my own choices and that I did not have to bend my life around whether a man would be around.
My point is, you are definitely not crazy for wanting a child/children and considering doing it solo if the time is right for you and no guy is around.
Someone needs to tell these women that there are easier solutions, the main one of which is to be oriented to marriage and motherhood at a younger age. The current life script for this type of woman is not viable. It goes like this:
a) Deliberately push off family formation until the magical age of 30. Focus on career, travel, partying and casual relationships instead.
b) Get to 30 and find it more difficult to find the right man than you expected.
c) Get to 32 or 33 and recognise that there is only a small window of opportunity left to have children.
d) Take desperate measures that will make it even more difficult to marry, e.g. freeze some donor fertilised embryos or have a child as a single mother.
I can't help but think that society is bifurcating. Those following along the modernist path are sinking deeper into a nihilism in which kinship no longer matters as much, in which fatherhood is optional, in which a paralysing question mark is placed next to motherhood, and in which women home in on the most demoralised of men.
But there is also an ongoing, more traditional stream in society, one that is more determined to arrive at positive family outcomes. There do exist women who are part of this stream (e.g. two beautiful, kind-hearted women in my office in their mid-20s who married good men and have just recently had their first child).
Which stream will prove to be the more powerful? Time will tell.