Maybe Baby

What happens when single women give up looking for Mr. Right and settle for Mr. Right's DNA?
Year Released
Film Length(s)
60 mins
Remote video URL


Maybe Baby is an intimate, provocative documentary that takes a new look at the emotional journeys of single women in their '30s and '40s as they pursue pregnancy through the world of Assisted Reproductive Technology.

Featured review

A beautiful film. Poignant, moving, and important.
Debora L. Spar
President Barnard College Author of "The Baby Business"


Maybe Baby is an intimate, provocative documentary that takes a new look at the emotional journeys of single women in their '30s and '40s as they pursue pregnancy through the world of Assisted Reproductive Technology, a multi-billion dollar industry on the cutting edge of medicine and science. Against a backdrop of ticking biological clocks, this riveting 60-minute film illuminates basic human questions of life, love, fertility, and the meaning of motherhood today.


A frank and intimate exploration of single women pursuing motherhood in a brave new world of technology, absent partners and biological clocks that may run out. O'Rourke's casting, the trust she engenders from her subjects, combined with the clarity she brings to the medical and cultural issues involved, make for a timely and compelling film.
Amanda Pope
Associate Professor, University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts
Shannon O'Rourke's Maybe Baby is extremely engaging, intimate, and ultimately highly educational. O'Rourke invites us to experience first-hand the very real issues and dilemmas of single women trying to conceive, and the effect is powerful, going beyond emotionally satisfying portraiture to deliver sharp insight regarding contemporary American values and notions of family. Maybe Baby also demonstrates the power of immersive documentary filmmaking, as O'Rourke was clearly closely involved in the lives portrayed on screen, relationships from which viewers, students, and advocates for these issues will ultimately benefit.
Annie J. Howell
Assistant Professor of Media Studies and Film, The New School
These women's interwoven stories make up Maybe Baby, Shannon O'Rourke's heartfelt documentary about baby love, the fertility gamble, and the changing face of the American family. Filmed over four years with remarkable candor, the film follows the "emotional endurance test" of donor selection, shots, symptoms, and side effects, pee sticks and blood tests, ultrasounds, and fateful announcements. Meanwhile, it raises questions about the social and personal ramifications of single motherhood by choice.
Marrit Ingman
Austin Chronicle
Filmmaker Shannon O'Rourke's Maybe Baby was another bright spot (and much more than a catchy name.) It's an intimate documentary that traces the emotional and physiological journeys of four middle-aged women as they pursue pregnancy ... It's a heartrending tale that sheds light on what motherhood means in contemporary America.
Marlow Stern
Manhattan Movie Magazine
This terrific documentary follows half-a-dozen single women (including one lesbian couple,) trying to have children through in-vitro fertilization. We take the ride with them through donor selection, pregnancy tests, impregnations, miscarriages and a few real live babies at the end. The amazingly unobtrusive camera captures their hopes and misgivings, joy and despair as these very brave women weave their way through medical appointments, support groups, and family discussions. Anyone actually considering in-vitro, let alone just interested in the human dimension of reproductive science, should see this film.
Rick Bolton
Film Fresh

Awards and Screenings

Grand Festival Award, Documentary, Berkeley Video & Film Festival, 2008
South by Southwest, 2007
IFP Market, 2008
St. John's Women's Festival, 2008
LA Femme Festival, 2008
Davis Film Festival, 2008
Kansas City Jubilee, 2008

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