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Page last updated at 08:10 GMT, Tuesday, 16 September 2008 09:10 UK
Women consider 'friends as fathers'
Pregnant woman
Many women think about asking a friend to have children with them

More than half of women would think about asking a friend to have children with them if the right person doesn't come along, a survey has said.

The study found that 56% of women would consider it if they hadn't found someone by a certain age - with 28 to 31 year-olds being the most likely.

The survey shows that many single men and women are worried about meeting a true love as well as fertility issues.

Twenty-six percent of men worried they wouldn't be able to conceive naturally.

Second-best

About half of the women who answered the Vitabiotics survey admitted that they think about finding the right partner either frequently or on a daily basis.

Many also said they would settle for second-best if they didn't meet the right person.

Psychologist Linda Papadopoulos said: "Interestingly, social norms of parenting and of the conventional family structure are being challenged - no longer do we see the mum, dad and 2.4 children as the only ideal.

Interestingly, social norms of parenting and of the conventional family structure are being challenged
Linda Papadopoulos
Psychologist
"Reconstituted families, same sex families and single parents are much more prevalent these days. And rather than ascribing to the 'norm' it seems that women and men are more flexible with their definition of 'family'."

It seems that fertility is also a big issue for many women, with more than two thirds who aren't in a relationship worrying they won't be able to conceive naturally.

Many respondents, both men and women, thought that fertility problems could end a relationship.



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