Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Single-by-Design Parenthood

"I work with a number of single intended fathers each year. There is an increase in single dads in my practice."
"I think it is men who want to be dads who just haven't found their life partner and aren't willing to wait any longer to be a parent."
Sara Cohen, fertility lawyer, Toronto

"I have many single men contact me about surrogacy."
"The majority is gay and of the heterosexual ones, their reasons for pursuing surrogacy are usually because they couldn't find the right partner."
Sally Rhoads-Henrich, Surrogacy in Canada Online
When my next-door neighbour discovered she couldn’t have children, I offered to carry them for her!:

The message boards of online surrogacy support groups give ample evidence of an obvious interest that is growing from a source hitherto barely suspected; single men wanting to be parents without altering their singlehood state. This growing phenomenon has not gone unnoticed by surrogates themselves as well as agency owners and fertility lawyers. Men across Canada, it seems, as well as those around the world, are thinking about and deciding to pursue single fatherhood through surrogacy.

Easier said than done. It is a time-consuming, costly process, and one fraught with many disappointments along the way before success finally comes the way of many of these would-be fathers. Many experience failed embryo transfers on more than one occasions, as well as egg donors who change their minds, not to mention surrogates who also may experience a change of mind. The cultural, universal social contract where children are born to heterosexual couples in a marriage bond is changing.
"This is the time [age 31] I had set in my life to start a family. I'm not waiting around for some guy in a relationship, waste a few years, get older and then be an old man trying to raise a newborn. I have older parents. I never really got to know my grandparents and I really would like my kids to get to know their grandparents."
"You have to sell yourself [in the business of trying to land a surrogate]. You're competing with other intended parents. What makes me the better candidate than the next person? I thought I'd be a bottom-feeder. The last one to get picked is a single male, I thought. People would think, 'How is he going to raise a child? On top of that, he's a homosexual'."
"I told them one day [his parents], hey, what do you think if I had a kid? They were like, 'What do you mean? How? Do you have a girlfriend? My mom and dad said: 'Some lady would give you her baby?' They didn't grasp the concept of it right away. But they want to be grandparents really badly so they were super happy. Now, they're even more excited than I am. Every day, they say: 'How's the surrogate? Where are we'?"
"I want to see how the first year-and-a-half goes with baby. If I'm doing fine, I want to have another baby. That will definitely impact my lifestyle more. This is already half a family. It will give the child someone else to relate to."
Harman Tattla, gay 31-year-old registered nurse, Vancouver
This  young man looked for help on a Canadian surrogacy website service, searching for some woman who might agree to carry his child. He carefully rehearsed how he would couch his pitch to appeal to a prospective surrogate, to describe how important it was for him to be a parent, that his extended family supported his dream, and he would lavish love and attention on this child who would be his alone. And lo and behold, a 26-yer-old single mother from Barrie, Ontario, responded.

She is now carrying this young man's baby, five months into the pregnancy. "We just clicked. I ha a son. And I thought, 'Why should a man not have the same ability?", she explained, while withholding her name from publication. Now the two, the surrogate mother and the prospective father, maintain a daily contact with one another. When the young woman agreed to carry Mr. Tattla's baby for him, she was single. Since then she has established an intimate relationship with a young man, who appears not to be the least bothered by the enterprise she has engaged herself in.

The cost to this prospective father was fairly substantial for him to gain his aspirational status as a father. The egg alone had a price tag of $9,000 attached to it. The services of a surrogate has no price attached; it is unlawful to charge for surrogacy services in Canada, but any expenses she incurs as a result of the pregnancy can be returned to her legally.

It was a Toronto woman whom he had never met whose egg it was that he acquired and that made the pregnancy possible. The woman did make available to him her family history, what her distinguishing features are, and a sketch of her personality. "Sometimes, I think I'm nuts, but you have to grab life by the horns. Life isn't meant to be boring. And I'm trying to meet my life goals. It's a bucket-list thing for me to be a father".

A bucket-list thing?

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