Men who are single and want to pursue parenthood can choose a surrogate with an egg donor to become a father. This allows them to still have a biological connection to their children without having a partner. Single men can also choose embryo donation or adoption as an option to parenthood.
Gestational surrogacy occurs when a woman carries and gives birth to a child for an individual or couple. By doing so, she is compensated for the risk and services she provides. Since the getational surrogate carries an embryo created from the eggs and sperm of the potential parents or donors, she has no genetic connection to the child.
Gestational carrier agencies help couples find a surrogate to carry a pregnancy. Choosing a potential surrogate is a carefully evaluated process where people can often interact with the candidate in more personal ways through conference calls, in-person meetings, etc.
A reputable egg donor agency can match patients with a wide variety of donors from diverse backgrounds with many different physical traits. Patients can decide to choose a donor who is nonidentified, formerly called anonymous, or directed (identified), formerly called known. “Nonidentified acknowledges the intention of all involved in the donation process, including donors and recipients, as well as any medical, professional, or coordinating entities or professionals, not to share identifying information of the donor or recipient with one another. The intention at the time a nonidentified donation contract is entered into, or the donation undertaken, is that the identities of the donor, recipient, and any resulting offspring will remain unknown to one another to the extent permitted under law or to an explicit and limited degree, such as when a contract or consent document may allow for arranging contact between the donor-conceived offspring and the donor upon the offspring reaching a specific age, often the age of majority. These latter types of arrangements are sometimes referred to as open-identity arrangements, and the donors who agree to them are referred to as open-identity donors.” (ASRM Ethics and Practice Committee, 2022) An identified donor can be a friend, relative or previously-unknown person chosen through an agency about whom identifying information is shared and you may meet within agreed-upon boundaries. All potential egg donors are recommended to go through an evaluation or screening. Egg donors go through an assisted reproductive technology cycle of ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval under mild anesthesia in order to retrieve the eggs they will donate.
Many women who go through fertility treatment may have several frozen embryos left over after they have successfully had one or two children. They can choose to donate these embryos to couples or individuals looking to build a family. Single men can use embryo donation with a surrogate in order to have a baby. Just as with egg donation (or sperm donation for that matter), embryo donations are either identified or non-identified.
In identified embryo donations, the donors can get to know the potential parent(s) who are receiving the embryos. The donor can decide to choose the recipient through an embryo matching service or agency. Donors are not compensated for their donation so embryo donation can be a lower-cost alternative and easier option compared to adoption and other forms of fertility treatment.
Single men can pursue adoption as a means of starting a family. Through the journey of adoption, many individuals find immense fulfillment as they create a loving home and raise their adopted child or children. Some individuals choose to adopt while also having biological children. There is no definitive “right” answers, but adoption opens up a world of incredible opportunities to build and nurture families.
It’s important to recognize that adoption entails a thorough and sometimes lengthy process. Aspiring parents must consider crucial factors, such as finding the right adoption agency to partner with and determining the type of adoption that suits their personal preferences. Depending on the individual’s choice, they can explore options for domestic adoption, international adoption, or adoption through the foster care system.
Learn more about adoption.