Book club guide to Knock Yourself Up

Get your book club really talking about marriage, kids and cultural politics with these discussion questions

More about the author of Knock Yourself Up

Louise Sloan’s writing and editing website

Louise’s blog posts
Resources if you’re considering single motherhood

Single Mothers by Choice
This organization was founded by psychotherapist and single mom Jane Mattes, author of Single Mothers by Choice, the classic guide to the process—one of the books that would be your next buy after Knock Yourself Up, if you find you are quite serious about the idea. Single Mothers by Choice has thousands of members and local chapters all over the country that hold meetings and events. For a yearly membership fee, it offers access to the local groups as well as a quarterly newsletter and active email listservs for discussion and support on every stage of the process, including thinking, trying to conceive, adopting and parenting.

Choosing Single Motherhood
This is the website of Mikki Morrisette, author of Choosing Single Motherhood, The Thinking Woman’s Guide, a comprehensive how-to that is another great  companion to Knock Yourself Up. She offers a small listserv for discussion and support, and offers free and low-fee information on issues of interest to single moms and those considering single motherhood. Good links to other relevant websites.

Research on How Single Motherhood and Donor Insemination Affects the Kids
excerpt from Knock Yourself Up
Kids conceived by anonymous-donor insemination to single moms may have many blessings, but they do miss out on the experience of having a dad (though, of course, some kids of single moms end up having a stepdad). How does this affect them? Here, from the resource section of Knock Yourself Up, is a listing and summary of the relevant academic research.

Buying Dad
This is the website for the book Buying Dad: One Woman’s Search for the Perfect Sperm Donor, by Harlyn Aizley. It’s a terrific memoir, funny and touching, so well written it should appeal to anyone—gay, straight, male, female—regardless of whether or not they’re interested in donor insemination. It’s written by a partnered lesbian about her personal journey, from the search for sperm to fears of infertility and finally to the birth of her daughter. It will give you a great idea of what the whole donor-insemination process is like. 

Donor Conception Network
This is the website of a U.K.-based support organization for families created with the help of donated eggs, sperm, or embryos. It’s inclusive of heterosexual couples, gay couples and single parents, and there is a support group for single mothers by choice. DCN is active in recommending that children have a right to the details of their biological heritage (i.e., they are against total anonymity in sperm and egg donation) and they have some great downloadable pamphlets about how and when to talk to your donor-conceived child about his or her conception. They believe, as I do, in openness around this issue, “thereby avoiding damaging secrets.”

Single Mothers by Choice/Australia
SMC Australia (or Single Mothers by Choice Australia) is a community of women who are thinking about, or have made the decision to become, a sole parent. While most of the members have chosen to use donors (via insemination or IVF), other members are looking at, or have become mothers by adoption or other means.

Friends of Knock Yourself Up

Rachel Sarah’s single mom dating book & blogs 

Brad Miskell’s “Dogtown Ink,” a mix of “Onion”-type humor and reporting on the wackier elements of California culture. Plus a visitor’s guide to everything from restaurants to the quality of the waves. Based in the subculture mecca of Venice, CA.

Plus, Brad’s previous creation, a multimedia site on American subcultures

Joan Hilty’s comics

Sally Gardner’s illustrations

Caroline Fitzgerald’s fitness boot camp
(That’s my baby sister! Check her out and also my other little sister, Isabel, on this TV news segment about Caroline’s class! )

Sue Shapiro’s book website

Rachel Kramer Bussel’s cupcake blog

Tertia Albertyn’s website about her life after beating infertility

Plus, her hilarious London Times blog about parenting:

Author and editor Linda Villarosa’s website (check out her first novel!)