With growing awareness on the ways advanced reproductive technologies can help create families of choice, an increasing number of single men are no longer waiting for the perfect partner in order to fulfill their dreams of fatherhood.
A trickle that started a decade ago has grown steadily, and many report that it was the media or encouragements from single moms that triggered their decision to start a family on their own.
“Twenty years ago it was most common for me to help traditional married couples who needed help having children,” says Dr. Michael Doyle, founder of CT Fertility. “Then over the years I began seeing more and more single women who chose parenthood through sperm donation, rather then hope and wait for Mr. Right. Now in the past ten years I am seeing more and more single men – and increasingly more of them are straight – who are following that same course.”
Four men who recently became fathers with the help of Dr. Doyle and his team at CT Fertility agreed to share their stories as they prepare to celebrate Father’s Day for the first time. “These men and about a dozen more we helped in the last couple years are more than ready to become dads and unwilling to allow their single status to deter them from their family-building goals,” says Dr. Doyle. “Like single women, they are highly motivated, purposeful, and thoughtfully deliberate in their choices regarding both the egg donors and surrogates they choose.”
Michael Tafet from NY came to CT Fertility after he found himself turning 40 and not yet married. “I love kids and this was something I didn't want to miss in my life,” he says. He considered surrogacy after hearing about a gay acquaintance that started his family this way, and was referred to CT Fertility. “I didn't know much about IVF, egg donation or surrogates at the time, and Dr. Doyle went over all the different options with me. There was a lot of learning I had to do.”
“Some single dads approach their treatments more conservatively than couples,” says Dr. Doyle, “and often the desire to avoid a twin pregnancy may lead them to choose single embryo transfer, which can sometime prolong the process.” Mike was one of these people as he determined that twins would have been too much for him to handle. He also gave much thought into the selection of the egg donor, and took advantage of CT Fertility’s unique “known donor” option.
“I wasn't looking for a model but someone who was somewhat attractive, and was happy that I was allowed to meet the candidates. When I met the first one for lunch it was initially a bit awkward for the both of us but we ended up having a good conversation and I found her to be a very nice and sweet person which helped me decide to choose her.”
Friends and family have been both surprised and supportive once Mike’s son was born. “They were really happy and excited, but also a little shocked...they didn't expect this. Not often you hear of a single guy having a kid, but I haven't had anyone come up to me and tell me that what I did was wrong.”
George Manson from NY also just turned 40 when he realized it was time to do something about his lifelong dream of fatherhood. His father passed away after a long illness, and the following morning he came across a CNN program about single men having children through surrogacy. Within days he started the process himself, and eventually ended up with a baby girl.
While he finds that his life now revolves around his daughter, it hasn’t been as hard as he initially imagined. “I received support from people that I would have never imagined receiving from, and I even made new friendships through this.” His elderly mother was initially skeptical about the whole idea. “At first she was only going to spend 2 weeks with me and my daughter...two years later she's still here with us, she adores her!” George adjusted his work routine, and barely goes out anymore. “My goal before was to save enough money for me to retire. Now I feel younger thanks to my daughter and I have a very positive outlook on life!”
Andrew Hummel from NJ first thought of surrogacy when he was in a relationship with a woman that was medically unable to have children. Years after that relationship ended he came to the realization that he could have a child on his own when he read a NY Times article on the subject. He also received encouragement from single moms with whom he is friendly. “They said: you have to do this...you are just a natural with kids, it would be a shame if you can't share a life with children.” Andrew, himself an only child, wanted to have two children and he got his wish in the form of boy-girl twins. He barely had a chance to tell his father about his plans, as he was critically injured in a car accident a month before the planned embryo transfer. However before he passed away he gave his son the thumbs up even when he could no longer speak.
After the birth Andrew enjoyed an outpouring of congratulations and help. “People tell me ‘I'm so happy for you’ or ‘the kids are so lucky’ – so far no one said ‘what were you thinking?’… Meanwhile I know some single guys who wish they had the courage to do this.” Andrew may feel awkward when people mistake his nanny for his wife, but he loves how having kids also makes him more approachable and breaks down walls. “Having the kids has had a another impact on my life – I'm now open to meeting a women who already has children.”
Arnold Ames from Texas also chose to have twins, and he admits that although he heard about what he can expect from others, he was still not quite prepared to the radical change in his life. “Having kids brought me back to earth, it’s no longer just about me, it’s all about my family now.” Given that he has no family living nearby, his friends became his support system. “As a single father I need all the help I can get, and I get it all from my friends… It’s amazing.”
While his schedule changed completely, he would not say that ‘he doesn’t have a life’. “I do have a life – it is the time I spend with the kids... The most rewarding thing for me has been to see the kids every day and the kids now calling me daddy.”
For more information about CT Fertility visit www.ctfertility.com
About CT Fertility
Founded by Dr. Michael Doyle, CT Fertility specializes in Reproductive Medicine, Egg Donation and Surrogacy. Since 1991 CT Fertility has created over 4,500 babies for a diverse group of parents from around the world - including clients from over 30 countries, couples and singles, straight and gay, and spanning a wide range of ages. Based in Bridgeport, CT, and with offices in New York City, the clinic achieves exceptional results by coordinating every aspect of the medical process, all under one roof, including the finding and pre-screening of highly qualified and immediately available local egg donors and surrogates.
CT Fertility services include basic fertility testing and treatments, IVF, ICSI, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), egg freezing and banking, and embryo adoption. CT Fertility operates one of the oldest and most established IVF laboratories in the USA, with state-of-the-art technology, equipment, protocols, and access to the most currently available genetic technology. Through the early mastery of the vitrification freezing technology and other protocols, CT Fertility has also established one of the largest and most successful Donor Egg Banks in the world.
CT Fertility personalizes the parenting journey by offering a wide range of treatment and egg donation options, taking into account your long-term family vision, ethical, legal and financial considerations, personal relationships and priorities, and coping preferences.
Photo credit: ctfertility.com
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TODAY'S BOOK SUGGESTION:
Pathways to Parenthood: The Ultimate Guide to Surrogacy
by Stacy Ziegler
-- a how-to guide to Surrogacy. It covers Gestational Surrogacy via IVF as well as Traditional Surrogacy via Artificial Insemination.
The mystery that surrounds Surrogacy is demystified and everything is broken down into layman's terms.
This book will take you from deciding if Surrogacy is the right path for you, to contact with your surrogate after the delivery and everything in between.
You will learn about the legal, medical, as well as the emotional aspects of choosing Surrogacy as your pathway to parenthood. You will be given the pros and cons of using an agency as well as going about it on your own.
Click to read more
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