In the early 2000s becoming an SMC was not as widely known as it is 20+ years down the track, and local online support groups were only in their infancy. Yahoo groups were a thing (for those of you who remember) and in 2004 two women in Queensland started an online Yahoo group to ensure there was an Australian group for the growing number of SMCs. A few years later that Yahoo group became the SMC Australia forum as it is today. At its core, it has always been about ensuring our children know others with similar family structures.
There has always been a constant stream of new members and in the early years membership requests always peaked after there was a media story on donor conception or solo parenting and sometimes after public holidays when maybe people had time to do a bit of thinking.
In the initial days of the forum members where required to post regularly. Over the years, as the number of members increased, that rule was dropped and now people log in for information or connection as they require. The many discussion threads on the initial stages of thinking, trying, pregnancy and early parenting are always busy, along
with what and how to tell the people around you and your children.
There are now almost 2500 members and at any one time there are at least 400 active members. Children of members now range from grown adults to newborns. There have been over a thousand children born whose parent has been connected to SMC Australia. Whilst many of the long-term members are not always active on the forum, many long-term
friendships have been forged and they stay connected via the myriad of social media options now available. The connections made for the children and the parents are long and valued by all. A short holiday on the east coast for a small group of SMC families in the late 2000’s became an annual camping holiday. In the west, a regular weekend away has been enjoyed by a number of families for many years.
Regular catch ups in most capital cities and some regional areas give most members the ability to connect in person and ensure that the children get to socialise with others who have families just like theirs. The catch ups are great opportunities for new members to go and get lots of questions answered and see just what it might be like to be an SMC!
We hope (and intend!) that the forum is around for many years to come, and continues to be an invaluable source of support for women in their solo motherhood journey.