More often than not, people picture a woman when they hear “single parent.” However, single dads are becoming increasingly common. Many men, like their female counterparts, spend their twenties and early thirties focused on education and career. As the years pass, and the search for the right partner marches on, they find themselves exploring the possibility of having children on their own. The method by which you become a dad is entirely up to you. Many men think that their child is out there waiting for them and look into adoption. Others feel a biological connection is paramount, so they choose surrogacy and egg donation.
Cary Dicken, MD of Sher Fertility Institute New York in Manhattan details the steps men can take to fulfill their dream of fatherhood.
Opening Your Home to a Child In Need
Adoption is a wonderful way to help a child in need, while enjoying all the special moments of parenthood. Adoptions can be arranged in a variety of ways. Some men find adopting via the foster care system extremely rewarding. The goal of foster care is to rehabilitate the child’s birth parents and, ultimately, reunify them with the child. That typically means a longer wait time for adoptive parents, to give birth parents plenty of time to work out their issues. Children in the foster care system range in age from less than one year old to 18 years of age.
Others choose to adopt independently or via a private agency. Going this route, rather than foster care, usually means shorter wait times, and most of the children are newborns and infants. Adoption agencies will walk you through each step of the process; many people find the agency’s support invaluable during an experience that can be fraught with emotion. Independent adoptions give the birth mother and adoptive parents more control over the process, however an attorney’s help is almost always necessary.
If you think adoption may be right for you, contact Path2Parenthood.org for a helpful list of resources.
Pursuing Surrogacy and Egg Donation
Men who wish to become single dads will need to use a surrogate. You may choose to use a traditional surrogate who supplies her own eggs, fertilized by your sperm or donor sperm, and carries the baby to term. Gestational carriers, however, are more commonly used. The baby is conceived using eggs supplied by an egg donor and sperm supplied by you or a donor.
The primary reason gestational carriers are typically preferred to traditional surrogates has to do with the lack of legal safeguards for the intended parents. Because the baby is conceived using her own egg, the traditional surrogate may have a harder time separating from the child. While many traditional surrogacy have proceeded without incident, most people feel more at ease using a gestational carrier.
If you’ve reached the point in your life where you’re ready to have children, but don’t yet have a partner, surrogacy is an excellent option. Contact Sher Fertility Institute New York at (646) 792-7476 for more information on how to begin your journey to becoming a dad.