Being a single man does not have to mean letting go of your dreams of being a dad. Through adoption or surrogacy, you can choose solo fatherhood from the beginning.
Despite male solo parenthood becoming more visible, in some traditional communities stigma still exists for men raising children without a partner. If you are a gay man, you may also worry about the likelihood of facing negative attitudes or discrimination.
However, research conducted by Henrique Pereira in 2022 has provided some much-needed positivity and encouragement if you are a man hoping to start a family on your own.
Why Choose Surrogacy?
Henrique Pereira of the Department of Psychology and Education at the University of Beira Interior, Portugal, investigated whether children born to single men are at risk of adverse consequences in psychosocial development and adjustment.
Men account for around 17% of single-parent families in the USA. It is harder to determine how many of these children were conceived using IVF or IUI and surrogacy. However, it is clear that gay and straight men are drawn to assisted reproductive treatment over adoption because they “value a genetic connection to their child”. Men may also feel that surrogacy is legally more secure than adoption, especially when choosing to use donor eggs to remove any genetic relation between the baby and surrogate.
Pereira reviewed multiple studies to determine the impact that solo male parenthood has on the wellbeing of children conceived. His review of the literature demonstrated that there is no reason why single men should not become fathers via surrogacy.
The Impact of Single Fatherhood on Children
Children born to a single male parent are just as likely to flourish as children born into traditional families.
Pereira states that single fathers “can be just as capable, skilled, and resourceful as women at parenting”. Single men are not only capable of forming secure attachments with their surrogate-born children, but may even have greater motivation to do so. The absence of a mother or female figure does not lead to harmful consequences in terms of emotional or social wellbeing.
Although children may be exposed to prejudice or stigma around their family or the sexual orientation of their father, they continue to perform well in all areas. This is especially true when they can speak freely about their origin, and during adolescence this freedom of conversation was found to promote a better sense of identity.
It was also noted that children who understood their origin, including the surrogacy process, had higher self-worth, fewer behavioral problems, and felt more comfortable within their family, than those who found it harder to accept or understand how they were conceived. Reassuringly, most children of single fathers via surrogacy felt at peace with their origin.
This recent research demonstrates that children born via surrogacy, and raised by a single father, become as psychologically adjusted as children born to two parents, as long as the family they are raised in is nurturing and emotionally secure.
Becoming a single father by choice will not disadvantage your child or children, regardless of your sexuality. Many children are being raised by one dad, and are growing up in a healthy manner. As more single men choose to start a family, single fatherhood will hopefully become more visible, better understood, and more widely accepted across society.
Before you embark on fatherhood, you can find out more about your fertility in the privacy of your home. The YO Sperm Home Test allows you to check your motile sperm concentration (how many sperm are moving), as well as comparing your result to other men who have fathered children.