New statistics have shown that women as young as 18 are turning to internet sperm donors to become mothers after failing to find the man of their dreams has increased.
A number of women who are in their twenties are logging on to websites like babydonor.com and co-parent-search.com to find biological fathers for their children as they claim to be frustrated with relationships and have decided to face the challenge of parenthood alone.
According to The Sunday Times, women below the age of 25 make up a quarter of the women registering on some sites, where they post pictures of themselves along with private information allowing potential donors to get in touch with them.
"I've wanted kids for as long as I can remember. I lost a baby when I was with my ex-boyfriend. We broke up shortly afterwards, too devastated to continue. But since then I have known I am ready to be a parent. I am financially secure, I have found a job with flexible hours, I have a house and a mortgage. I know I could offer a child a loving, safe environment, so I don't know why I should wait," a 20-year-old said.
Research shows that between one to two percent of patients at licensed fertility clinics are below the age of 25, but the number of adverts suggests that the number using unregulated channels may be much higher, perhaps due to the cost of fertility treatment, which can run in to many thousands of pounds.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has expressed concerns over the practice of online sperms as there are legal implications like - the man's status as the father cannot be waived outside of licensed clinics and there are also health risks because sperms gained over the internet cannot be screened.