If it seems like you’ve heard more stories about men choosing surrogacy lately, you’re not imagining it. The number of men opting to work with surrogates to grow their families has been rising steadily, particularly here in California. While each man makes this decision for his own personal reasons, there are a few major factors influencing this shift.
Men Have a “Biological Clock” Too
It has historically been accepted that women have a “biological clock” ticking away. If a woman hasn’t produced a child of her own by about her mid-30s, her chances of becoming pregnant and having a healthy child begin to decline. Newer research now concludes this may start happening as young as 27, but the main point is that the urge to become a parent typically peaks as the generally-accepted fertility window starts to close for a woman. Men, on the other hand, have generally been excluded from the biological clock talks. After all, men can father children for virtually as long as they’re alive, right?
Not so fast. Sperm quality declines with age. Even the Mayo Clinic readily accepts that men over the age of 40 who father children have increased risk for miscarriage and are more-likely to produce babies who suffer from rare birth defects, autism, schizophrenia, childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and more. Additionally, fathers are more health-conscious and aware of their bodies than they were in previous generations. Those who hold off on fatherhood often report worries about things like decreased energy, mortality and being there for their children as adults, and career conflicts. While not exactly the same as a woman’s biological clock, these concerns are real and valid, which sometimes cause men to pause and consider surrogacy as an option.
Stigma About Single Fatherhood is Fading
There was a time when Dad was expected to be the wage-earner while Mom took care of the home. As divorce rates increased, moms historically retained custody of the children while dads received “visitation.” Even within the court systems, there was a bias; that women were the better primary caregivers. We obviously know now that gender has nothing to do with a person’s ability to care for a child and courts around the country are finally adapting their laws and moving to 50/50 arrangements and awarding fathers primary custody more often. Single fathers providing care for their kids are no longer the exception.
California Laws Promote Equality
While laws around the country vary, California has some incredibly well-written and progressive laws that protect the rights of all parents. They were mindfully crafted to ensure that members of the LGBT community and single parents maintain their rights to parent. These laws also cover surrogacy, so any person can establish parentage before a baby is born. This has made California a mecca for gay dads around the country who require the help of a surrogate if they want to father a child.
Better Paternal Coverage and Benefits are Available
While every employer and insurance company offers a unique set of employee benefits, fathers by and large are no longer overlooked. Many companies offer enhanced coverage for fertility treatments, while employers are giving dads more paternity leave, and offering it under more circumstances too. Beyond this, many companies have become more flexible with fathers and their schedules, understanding that dads have responsibilities outside work they must attend to as well. Large employers are creating some very lucrative benefits packages including things like flexible scheduling to attract and keep talent, which makes it much easier for dads to consider surrogacy as a viable option, regardless of whether they’re single, partnered, gay, or straight.
EDSI Works with Dads Too
At the Egg Donor and Surrogacy Institute, we work with dads on a regular basis and understand your concerns. We can not only find a qualified egg donor, but also match you with a surrogate who genuinely delights in the idea of helping you begin your journey into fatherhood. Most importantly, we ensure everything is seen to throughout the process, from contracts to establishing your parental rights. View our information for intended parents or call us at 213-423-7997 to get started.