A growing number of single men want to have children and start a family on their own. Nevertheless, parenthood for single men is not as easy to achieve as it would be for a heterosexual couple, a female same-sex couple, or even a single woman. So, what does surrogacy really imply for a single man?
The vast majority of fertility problems can be overcome with the help of assisted reproductive techniques, but single men must use gestational surrogacy to have genetically related children.
Single parent surrogacy entails the same challenges and benefits as it does for couples. However, it is important for intended single fathers to be aware of the nuances of the process before embarking on a surrogacy journey.
Surrogacy process for single intended fathers
In general, the surrogacy process for men choosing single parenthood is similar to what other intended parents will experience. Although both traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy are technically possible approaches, most intended fathers prefer the latter. This is largely because traditional surrogacy poses greater legal risks since the surrogate would be, biologically speaking, the mother of the child.
The most usual path to biological fatherhood for single men is gestational surrogacy. In this modality, doctors perform in vitro fertilization (IVF) to create an embryo that is carried to term by a gestational carrier with no genetic relation to the child. The prospective dad provides sperm but must find donor eggs to achieve the pregnancy. This requirement is the main difference between surrogacy for heterosexual couples and surrogacy for a single man, gay or straight.
Legal regulation of surrogacy for single men
The legal issues for surrogacy are quite complex. In the United States, legislation regulating surrogacy varies widely from state to state, but surrogacy laws are generally the same for single intended parents as they are for couples. It is important to note some states require both a standard surrogacy contract as well as a birth order for the intended father to be considered the legal parent of the child.
We recommend that single men pursuing parenthood through surrogacy consult a professional to dispel any doubts about the legal process surrounding their specific kind of surrogacy arrangement.
Surrogacy vs. adoption
Surrogacy is a valid option for those single men who are looking to build a family, but it is not the only possible way. Adoption can also be the right path to take.
Both adoption and surrogacy are fulfilling means of achieving parenthood. Each of these options has its advantages and benefits, but the chief differences between them are:
- Surrogacy allows intended parents to have biological ties with their child, which they cannot achieve via adoption. On the other hand, adoption can significantly change the life of a child who needs love and support.
- Although both adoption and surrogacy can be costly, the total cost of the procedure depends on several factors. Surrogacy is, generally speaking, more expensive than adoption.
- Intended parents have more control with surrogacy than with adoption. The legal binding contract required for a surrogacy arrangement adds certainty to the process. A birth mother's consent to the adoption of her child may be withdrawn at any time. Intended parents have much more influence over the surrogacy process since they get to choose both the egg donor and the surrogate for their future children. In contrast, in an adoption the birth mother chooses the adoptive family for her child. Also many birth mothers might prefer two-parent households, so succeeding as a single-parent adoption may be more difficult than surrogacy.
Prospective single fathers should be aware of these considerations before embarking on either an adoption or a surrogacy journey. These are the main issues concerning surrogacy for single men.