Surrogacy for single dads
Brilliant Beginnings helped change UK law to allow single parents to apply for parental orders in 2019, and we were the first UK surrogacy agency to work with single dads.
What are my options for having a family as a single dad?
You may be considering surrogacy alongside other options like adoption and co-parenting, both of which are also excellent ways of creating a family but very different, both in process and outcome. With surrogacy, you will have a genetic connection with your child. You will also care for him or her from birth, and will not share parenting with anyone else. It is sensible to take your time and be honest with yourself about your preferences and what you want your family to look like.
Is it fair for a single dad to conceive a child without a mother? Will my child be bullied?
This is a question many single dads think about. Research into the long-term outcomes for children with single dad parents is still in its early stages, but other research into children born through surrogacy in a range of different family forms has shown that what matters to children is the quality of their parental relationships rather than the number or gender of their parents, and that outcomes for children in the long term are very positive. Read more about research on surrogacy and non-traditional families.
It is, however, important to be prepared to talk to your child about how they came into the world, to make sure that they have a positive sense of identity, and if possible to keep a connection with your surrogate and any egg donor. Find out more about how children feel about being born through surrogacy.
You will also need to be prepared to talk to others, both those in your family and friends support network and people in the wider world. Find out more about talking to others about surrogacy.
How does surrogacy work for single dads?
If you decide to build your family through surrogacy, you will need to think about who will provide the eggs to conceive your child (unless you are transgender and able to provide your own eggs), as well as who will be your surrogate, and what information you and your child can access about them (this may differ depending on whether you conceive in the UK or overseas).
You can either create embryos with donated eggs at a fertility clinic which are then transferred to a gestational surrogate, or you can match with a traditional surrogate who will provide eggs as well as carrying your child. It is important to think through the option that is right for you, as well as the long term implications for your child.
Should I stay in the UK or go overseas for surrogacy?
This is one of the most important early questions to explore, although do bear in mind that if you are considering traditional surrogacy this is generally only available in the UK. About half the UK parents who conceive through surrogacy do so in the UK and the others go overseas (for single dads usually in the USA or Canada). The right decision for you will depend on your timescale, budget, attitude to risk and the kind of surrogacy journey you are hoping for.
Where do I start?
Surrogacy is a big decision, and something you need to feel prepared for. Our surrogacy information area contains a wealth of information about surrogacy options, emotional issues and the practicalities of surrogacy in the UK and overseas.
Brilliant Beginnings can also help through our personalised meetings to help you explore your options and professional services to help you find a surrogate in the UK, US or Canada and to support you through your journey. Find out more.