Being a Voluntary Single Mother, Is It Prohibited or Allowed?
Being a Voluntary Single Mother, Is It Prohibited or Allowed?
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  • 승인 2021.03.11 18:00
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By Jeon So-hyeon KT Editor

Broadcaster Sayuri Fujita gave birth on November 4, 2020. She received sperm, which had been kept in a sperm bank, and gave birth after in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. Finally, she became a voluntary single mother. In the past, Sayuri said in a broadcast program that she had no intention of marrying but wanted to have a child of her own. Afterwards, the condition of her ovaries was checked in a sterile culture room, where they were safely stored. However, she was told in October 2019 that her ovaries at age 48, would make it difficult for her to get pregnant naturally or through a test-tube pregnancy. Thinking that she might not have children for life, she chose to become a voluntary single mother. In Korea, only married people can perform test-tube procedures, and single women cannot receive sperm donations. Therefore, Japanese Sayuri received a sperm donation in Japan, where it is legal for single women to receive sperm donations. Now, let's find out why some Koreans are taking the opposite stance.

Everything was illegal in Korea for an unmarried woman to have a baby including a test-tube pregnancy. The Korean Bioethics Act prohibits pregnancy outside the marriage system. In order to become a voluntary single mother, auxiliary reproductive techniques such as sperm banks and test tube procedures are needed, but the complicated systems and laws are preventing them. Korea's birth rate outside of marriage is 1.9%. Although Korea has the lowest percentage of children born outside the marriage system among OECD countries, some say that this demographic has enabled a new ideal of family composition. However, the law and the system have failed to keep up with this change in public perception that is trying to get out of the patriarchal way of thought. Discussions on institutional support for various family types have begun, but there is still a problem in women's rights to conceive and give birth alone. Furthermore, giving birth in this way may reveal your lack of consideration for the child. This is because the child will grow up without a father, and he will not be able to feel the love the father gives in the process of growth, and even for the rest of his life, he will not know who the father is. Besides, because there are still many people in Korea who have patriarchal ways of thinking, the way they look at these children may be negative. Therefore, single mothers should think about the scars children will develop as they grow up. Currently, there is no case of a voluntary single mother giving birth to a child in Korea, so confusion of identity may arise when a child reaches adolescence. Although many people predict this to happen gradually in the future, ethical issues are likely to continue to follow.

Recently, there are many opinions about voluntary single mothers in Korea. However, while changes in supplementary reproduction like artificial insemination are rapid, problems that cannot be solved ethically and legally under the current law will increase. If the law towards voluntary single mothers is made in the future and social awareness is improved, I think the problems created by being voluntary single mothers will be reduced.

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