The single mom gathering today was nice. I didn't know anyone there but if you're in a group of moms and you all have young children, you usually find something to talk about. Even if it's diapers. (Still not interested in cloth diapers, thanks.)
The single mom group I've been part of since before Elle was born, however, is made up of different people than this one. The group I've been in for ages is made up entirely of women who actively chose to become mothers, whether through artificial insemination (anonymous or known donor) or through adoption. It was a proactive choice.
With the group today, while I didn't find out how everyone became a mother (I'm not going to ask, after all; if it comes up, it comes up), the people I did find out about had all been involved with their child's father and the father left when he found out the woman was pregnant. In some cases, the father is involved (to widely varying degrees) in the child's life. In some cases, not.
I got to thinking on the way home, and later as I put together dinner (BTW, the pot roast was a complete failure. Boo! I've made this recipe a dozen times and never had it turn out this poorly)-- what is better? What is worse? Is it better to know who your father is but know that he has little or no interest in being in your life? Or is it better that you don't have a father, but you have a donor, who has no option for involvement?
I mulled this over quite a bit today. As I was cleaning up after Elle went to bed, I realized: I can't answer the question. The answer is probably different for every child.
And the child is the only person that can answer it for themselves.