For couples struggling with infertility, options are available for assistance with having a baby including IVF, surrogacy and adoption.
But what if you’re a single woman, wanting to have your own biological child – without a partner?
More and more kiwis are turning to sperm donors to have a baby, a process in which children are conceived usually using a stranger’s sperm.
In 2014, Fertility Associates treated 300 women using donor sperm, 156 of which were single. From 2009, there have been on average 137 sperm donor babies born each year.
“It’s about taking your happiness into your own hands," says Melanie, mum of Cooper, three, and Grace, one.
A coffee group in Auckland has taken off, made up of single mothers who have had babies by themselves by choice, with the help of a donor.
“We all wanted the husband and kids in that order, but it just didn’t turn out that way," says Lara, who found her donor through Fertility Associates in Auckland.
This collective of mothers with a shared connection was organised by one woman with a sperm donor baby, looking for a place to belong. Thanks to word of mouth, the group has now grown dramatically in size to 25 women.
Although sperm donation is not the standard method of becoming a parent, these women are all advocates for the process.
Megan, mum of three-year-old Liam, stands by her decision.
"Our kids may not have been brought into the world in the traditional way, but they are so incredibly loved. What more does any child need?”
To read more about the women who are part of this unique coffee group, check out the May issue of NEXT.