Building a Family on Your Own
Everyone is familiar with the ticking biological clock that many women hear. Thousands of women have decided to become single moms with sperm donors when they haven’t found the right partner and they fear time is running out to have a family. Did you know that some men feel the same way? Maybe they haven’t found the right partner, and they want to have children before they reach middle age or older. Some single men, both gay and heterosexual, are choosing to become single parents through adoption or hiring surrogates to bear their children.
Almost two million single men—both gay and straight—were raising children in 2014, based on U.S. Census data. A third of those were never married. This includes men raising children with an unmarried partner, as well as men who chose fatherhood on their own.
If you’re a man without a partner who wants to become a parent, you have options. Assisted reproductive technology has made it possible for gay and heterosexual men to have a biological family. Adoption may also be an option for you.
Donor Eggs and Surrogacy
A single man who wants to be the biological parent of a child without having a female partner needs to have an egg donor and a gestational surrogate, who is a woman willing to bear the child who has no genetic relationship to it. Many fertility clinics have egg donation programs or are affiliated with such programs. There are also agencies which match potential parents with gestational carriers, and the fertility clinic you choose may be able to provide you with options.
The man’s sperm is used to fertilize the donor eggs in the laboratory. The gestational surrogate is prepared for IVF, and embryos which develop from the fertilized eggs are transferred to her. When she becomes pregnant, she then carries the baby to term.
There are legal issues involved with surrogacy, and some states do not permit it. It’s very important to consult an attorney with expertise in reproductive law and third party parenting. Both the single man and the surrogate will need legal representation and need to have a clear understanding of all the issues involved, including compensation and health insurance for the surrogate.
The cost of donor eggs, IVF and surrogacy, including the fertility medications for the surrogate, may run as much as $100,000. Growing numbers of men have been willing to invest this for the chance of having a biological family on their own.
Adopting as a Single Man
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported in 2010 that only three percent of adopted children were adopted by single men. There are many reasons for this, including cultural attitudes toward single men having children without a woman or a male partner in the picture. Some states do not permit single men or women to adopt, but most do. Some adoption agencies will not work with single men, but some will. Agencies for international adoptions may offer more cooperation to singles, depending on the country involved. Any adoption agency will want to know that you as a single parent can support a child financially and provide a stable home, with a support network of friends and family to provide backup when you need it.
A voluntary adoption of a newborn child through a nonprofit agency will generally cost from $10,000 to $25,000, according to the Independent Adoption Center. Adopting a newborn or an older child from foster care is another option in some states. Thousands of children in foster care are wishing for a forever home, especially minority children or ones with disabilities. Choosing to adopt one of them is a huge gift of love.
The Costs of Child Rearing
Any man who is considering becoming a single parent should look at the financial implications of having a child. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently estimated that the cost of raising a child born in 2013 to age 18 for a middle-income family is over $245,000 (or $304,000, adjusted for inflation).
A child is a lifetime investment, with expenses from food, clothing and shelter to health insurance and education. It’s also extremely important to make sure you have a strong support system and that your workplace is at least understanding, if not supportive. Many corporations are less understanding when a dad has to take time off with a sick child than when a mom has to do the same thing. The good news is, the definition of a family has changed so much in recent decades that people are more familiar with single parenting and may be more flexible and open than in the past.
Are You Ready to Become a Parent?
Are you considering becoming a single dad or mom of a biological child? Let WINFertility help. WINFertility’s FertilityCoachSM Nurses or professionally-trained Patient Specialists can help you find an excellent reproductive endocrinologist in your area and get discounted treatment packages and financing. WINFertility provides lower than market-rate Treatment and Medication Bundles which combine medical services for a single IVF treatment and medications at a discounted “pay-as-you-go” price.
The bundle is tailored for your specific treatment plan, and you only pay for the treatment you need, unlike traditional multi-cycle discount plans in which you pay for up to 6 attempts that you may never need in order to receive a discount. For those patients who think they may need an additional IVF attempt to become pregnant, the WINFertility 2nd Chance IVF Refund Program helps control costs, maximizes your chance of success and minimizes your risk of overpaying.
Are you ready to take the next step? Visit WINFertility.com or call 855-705-4483 (4IVF.)