The Single Parent's Invisible Helpers

In The News Piece in Slate
Oct. 16, 2017

The Better Life Lab curated a piece for their Slate channel from former Better Life Lab intern and master's candidate Margaret Hennessy about the different support systems single parents build.

Morgan Faust startles awake at 3 a.m., awoken by a rustling in the kitchen of her Los Angeles house. Jack, who was safe in her womb only days ago, begins to wail. In one arm Morgan coddles her crying bundle of joy and in the other a baseball bat. It’s a standoff between Morgan, Jack, and what she soon realizes is a family of raccoons. In rushes Max—Morgan’s raccoon-fighting partner in crime.

Max Isaacson is not Morgan’s husband, boyfriend, or romantic partner—he is her brother, and she is his roommate.

At age 36, Morgan’s career as a TV writer and her social network were thriving, but she kept thinking, “I want to be a parent.” There were no worthy romantic partners on her horizon, but that didn’t stop her from exploring all options. She went to a popular sperm bank in Los Angeles and found her dream donor—great medical records, a parent himself, and a history buff (like her). She was lucky to conceive Jack on her second try with intrauterine insemination.