With or Without You – Starting Single-parent Families: A Qualitative Study on How Single Parents by Choice Reorganise Their Lives to Facilitate Single Parenthood from a Life Course Perspective. By: Van Gasse, Dries; Mortelmans, Dimitri. Journal of Family Issues. Nov2020, Vol. 41 Issue 11, p2223-2248. 26p.

Single parenthood is often approached as a problematic situation. People become single parents through divorce, separation, or bereavement and have to cope with this situation. These transitions to single parenthood lead to unforeseen problems with respect to the organization of the household. Nevertheless, there are also single parents for whom single parenthood is a positive story. These people are single parents by choice. Today, it is no longer necessary to have a partner to start a family, as people are able to choose to become single parents through sperm donation or adoption. Hertz (2006) argues that single parents by choice might have remained single due to circumstances, but nevertheless had a strong desire to become a parent. This means that single parents by choice offer a different perspective on single parenthood, as they voluntarily choose to become parents on their own. Nevertheless, single parents by choice face the same issues as other single parents: to combine their work responsibilities and their parental roles. In this paper, we explore how single parents by choice became parents, and how this transition affected their other preparations for parenthood. The central research question in this study is therefore: “How does the way in which single parents by choice become a parent affect the reorganization of their lives in the facilitation of single parenthood?” We used qualitative in-depth interviews with 20 single parents by choice to explore how they organized their work-family life before and after giving birth.