In this frank and funny mix of memoir and reporting published by Avery imprint of Penguin Books on October 18, 2007, writer Louise Sloan shares her experiences and those of many others who’ve decided not to let being single stand in the way of becoming a mom. It’s for single women over 30 who are thinking about motherhood, but also for men and women of all ages who are interested in the topic and the trend. For a book club guide, click here.
The book has caused a fair amount of controversy and debate thus far, mostly among people who haven’t read it. With its tongue-in-cheek title and engaging style, Knock Yourself Up lends humor and humanity to an often difficult topic, while confronting important issues regarding fatherhood and children’s rights head-on.
For Louise, the bottom line is that every child should be wanted, planned for and welcomed into a stable, loving home—something that doesn’t happen often enough. Women who choose to become single mothers aren’t anti-dad any more than the growing number of single fathers by choice are anti-mom. They are simply people who want children very much, feel they have a lot to offer as parents, and are willing to put an exceptional amount of thought and planning into the pursuit of parenthood. For more of Louise’s thoughts on the politics of single motherhood (from the book’s Author’s Note), click here, and for academic research on how donor-conceived children born to single mothers actually fare, please click here.
Knock Yourself Up has the kind of straight-up answers you won’t find anywhere else, to questions like:
        When do I decide it’s time to go it alone?
        How do I choose the right sperm?
        Is this fair to the kid?
        Can I afford to do it?
        How do I tell my parents?
        How do I tell my dates?
        Have I gone totally crazy?
        and, of course:
        If I do this, will I ever have sex—or a life—again?
Knock Yourself Up is an entertaining and emotional must-read for any single woman over 30 who thinks she might want kids someday. It lays out the practical and emotional realities of the choice to become a single mom, so you can decide whether it’s a choice you might consider making yourself—or not.
Louise Sloan was ready to have kids at age 28—but her partner wasn’t. Ten years later, after yet another birthday and yet another breakup, she realized she’d better get serious about single motherhood, before her fertility ran out. So began a heartbreaking and hilarious journey that led her to cyberstalking an anonymous sperm donor, running around town with liquid nitrogen tanks full of semen, being mistaken for a horse breeder, nearly getting another girl pregnant—and finally, to being called Mom.
In Knock Yourself Up, you’ll learn what it’s really like to go through the process of becoming a single mother by choice, from the women who’ve done it. From exploding semen vials to shocked parents to sex and dating while artificially inseminating, Sloan candidly shares her experiences and those of 43 other women.
Knock Yourself Up is a “girlfriends’ guide”—it delivers the basic facts and important information about the logistical and legal process of becoming a single mother by choice, but the primary focus is on how it actually plays out in the lives and emotions of a wide variety of real women, from New York City to Iowa. The book touches on the realities of being a single mom—dealing with loneliness, financial struggles, and lack of support. But the women interviewed in the book are happy with their choice, despite the challenges. You’ll read about how they made it work, and the funny/crazy/hard/wonderful things that have happened along the way.
The book also addresses the serious moral questions and concerns raised by single parenthood and anonymous-donor insemination. In addition to the thoughts and experiences of the women interviewed, Knock Yourself Up offers observations and guidance from experts who have worked extensively with families created by donor insemination, and looks at the latest academic research on how single motherhood and donor insemination affects the children.
In the end, the reader will see examples of women who, with their children, are leading happy, satisfying lives, whether they go on to find partners or whether they remain happily solo.
                                                                                                               buy the book