In the UK, more aspiring parents choose to establish a family on their own. High costs lead many to receive fertility treatments abroad. Harriet is one of them, and she got pregnant with the help of a Danish fertility clinic.
Busy weekdays can be a barrier to meeting the one you want to start a family with. 42-year-old Harriet from the UK is one of the many British women, who have taken matters into their own hands. In 2022, she sought out a Danish fertility clinic and after her second IUI-treatment, she was pregnant.
– I have always had a burning desire to have children. Unfortunately, I have never met the right partner, and suddenly I was 40. So, I decided to do it myself. I looked at different fertility clinics in the UK, but because I’m single, I’m forced go through private fertility clinics. Private clinics are significantly more expensive compared to clinics in other European countries, where you can easily save thousands of pounds, says Harriet.
British solo mums want Danish sperm
Diers Klinik in Aarhus, Central Denmark offers IUI-treatments, and 80 percent of their clients come from countries other than Denmark. According to the Danish Health Authority, almost half of all women inseminated with donor sperm in Denmark are from countries other than Denmark.
– We are seeing more and more solo mothers at our clinic, and many of them come from Britain, because they recognize that Denmark is way ahead when it comes to research and the way we treat solo mothers. We find that our donor system appeals to many, partly because there’s a wider variety of donor choice, partly because there’s a greater flexibility in choosing between an open or closed donor profile, says Liza Diers, CEO and owner of Diers Klinik. Especially the donor options made Harriet’s choice of fertility clinic and country clear.
–I found Diers Klinik in Denmark in 2022. All my expenses including the procedure, airplane ticket, and hotel for my mum and me cost less than the procedure alone would cost in Britain. But Denmark’s biggest advantage is the wider variety of options for choosing an open donor. It means a lot to me that I can give my son the opportunity to contact the donor, when he gets older, says Harriet.
The trend of more people choosing to have children without a partner can generate some social challenges that may influence single parent families.
– There are several factors that will likely influence future trends, such as the cost of living to be able to afford a single parent family, government policies such as affordable and flexible childcare, and enforcing family friendly policies at workplaces, says Dr Sesh Sunkara, Senior Clinical Lecture in Reproductive Medicine at King’s College London.
Harriet recognizes the many challenges and worries that relate to solo motherhood:
– I had to mentally adjust to not having the traditional nuclear family structure that I was hoping for. But the dream of a child was so burning for me that I had to follow it, and I’m sure I will find solutions to the logistic and economic challenges that come with being a solo mum, says Harriet.