Single Parenthood By Choice
There are many different ways to build a family. Single parenthood is one option that men and women without a partner may consider. Donors and surrogates are two possibilities that can help single people build a family.
No partner, no problem
The nuclear family is no longer the standard in today’s society. People may not have a partner during prime reproductive years for many reasons. Delaying marriage to pursue a career, a recent divorce, or simply not finding the right partner are all reasons people may be single. However, not having a romantic partner shouldn’t be the reason preventing an individual from having a child. Single parenthood by choice is an excellent option for people ready to take on the responsibility of having a family independently.
Let’s talk donors
The world of artificial reproductive technology (ART) is full of possibilities to help people get pregnant. Donor sperm and donor eggs are one great option for single people. For women who want to build a family alone, donated sperm would be required to create an embryo. For men wanting a baby, an egg donor would be necessary. Depending on the combination needed, the fertility clinic can arrange for intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) to take place with the donated sample.
Can you carry my baby?
Surrogacy is another great option for people pursuing single parenthood. Two types of surrogates are available. Traditional surrogacy means the woman surrogate is inseminated with the man’s sperm. This means the baby is biologically related to the surrogate. A second option, known as gestational surrogacy, combines eggs retrieved during IVF with sperm to create an embryo in the lab. The embryo is then transferred into the uterus of the surrogate. In this scenario, the surrogate is not related to the baby, just responsible for carrying the pregnancy.
The surrogacy route
For single parents, both traditional and gestational surrogacy can be used. Traditional surrogacy is a good option for men interested in having a baby alone. By using the surrogate’s eggs, a pregnancy can be achieved. However, this arrangement can be legally tricky since the baby is related to the surrogate. Men interested in pursuing this type of surrogacy should speak with a lawyer before making arrangements. Gestational surrogacy can be used by both men and women. For a single man, an egg donor would be needed to create an embryo for the surrogate to carry. For women, a sperm sample would be required from a known donor or sperm bank to create an embryo to be transferred.
Donors and surrogates are great options, but not for everyone. Other ways to build a family include fostering and adoption. Both international and domestic adoptions are possible, and kids of many ages are waiting for a loving home. Single parents interested in adoption should meet with an adoption counselor to determine if this approach to family building is the right one.
Creating a family
Choosing to be a single parent by choice can be a difficult decision, but the joys of a child are unparalleled. Whether a donor or surrogate is used, or adoption is chosen, many different ways to build a family exist. The right choice will depend on personal preference, finances, and reproductive timeline. With a little help, the perfect family can be created in no time.