‟ I realised that one can disconnect the idea of a relation with the idea of having a child. A relation has no age limit, one could meet a life partner regardless of age. Once I understood that, I no longer felt stressed about finding a partner first or to settle for second best in order to have my child.”
Sofia, mother of Greta (born after one insemination at Stork Kliniken in Copenhagen, Denmark)
In 1972, the Swedish government launched a new manifesto called: ''The family in the future ''. It underlined the importance of individualism and independence, its motto that no adult should depend on another but should be completely independent. In April 2016, a new law passed in Sweden, permitting assisted fertility treatment to single women. Before that day, single women would have had to turn to IVF clinics abroad or to private sperm donors in order to become pregnant. Mother of choice is a project about single women who have chosen to become mothers on their own because they can, due to generous government support and welfare and due to the fact that being a single mother is no social stigma. Over 40 years after the social democrats launched '' The family in the future '' manifesto, Sweden is witnessing a big change in the traditional family unit. Through the individuals involved, my project tells us about this social phenomenon.
For many women, the new law affirmed a changed and more equal view on new types of family constellations. It meant that women would finally be able to receive subsidized treatment from the government in public county clinics across the country and that becoming a single mother would no longer be an option for those who can afford expensive treatment only. ‟A family made up by individuals who are working for themselves. Independent, for themselves. If a woman is depending financially on the man it is impossible to know if she stays around because she needs to rather than because she wants to.” These standards, set by the social democratic government in the 1970’s may be more relevant than ever.
This project focuses on women who already have become mothers through IVF or insemination abroad, before the law came through, and on those who now plan to undergo or have begun the treatment in Sweden. It also looks to alternative methods such as men who, through anonymous websites, are willing to donate sperm for free to women without a partner.