One heart expanding with love: Surrogacy for single people
The desire to become a parent is innate in so many. Whilst attitudes toward what a family looks like are changing positively all the time, it is not until relatively recently that single men and women have been able to seriously consider becoming a parent.
One single dad, that Brilliant Beginnings helped on a surrogacy journey in the US, summed it up when he said that when he got home with his new-born son his heart expanded with love and he felt calm. This is a feeling many a new parent will identify with. The fact that he is single makes very little difference.
Below, we answer some of the most common questions about surrogacy for single men and women.
Can a single person become a parent through surrogacy?
Surrogacy for single people has been accessible in the USA for a number of years. Many states have a clear legal framework which allows for men and women to become parents, often at a very early stage or even before the baby is born. Culturally, surrogates are used to the idea of single parents too, so together this makes for real opportunities to create families.
In the UK, the legal route to parenthood in relation to surrogacy was until recently only accessible to couples in an ‘enduring relationship’ After significant campaigning and a legal case led by our sister organisation NGA Law, the law relating to parental orders was adapted in January 2019 to allow for single people to apply. For many single people this meant that their legal parentage was more certain, and opened the door for surrogacy here in the UK to happen for them.
One criteria that remains for any intended parent to apply, single or otherwise, is that there must be a genetic link to the baby with at least one applicant. This means in the case of a single man that his sperm was used, and for a single woman that her egg was used. For many people, particularly women that come to surrogacy, it may be that this is very difficult or impossible. This is our next challenge, but for the time being this barrier is the reality for many.
Find out more about the legal aspects of surrogacy here in the UK
Are surrogates open to helping single people here in the UK?
Surrogates are motivated to create families. Some are very open, and others will have an idea from the outset of who they might want to help. This might be based on their own experience of difficulties having children or that of a friend or family member. Increasingly this experience may involve one parent, and this has meant that when we talk to surrogates about the right match for them, more and more are open to helping single people.
At Brilliant Beginnings we actively help single people through our UK matching and management service (in addition to our services in the USand Canada), and as with any match it is important that there is alignment between surrogate and intended parent at a number of levels. We have been so encouraged by the numbers of women that are happy to be matched with single people, however it is important to note that finding a surrogate is difficult for anyone, and being single does narrow the numbers further.
As society becomes more and more familiar with single parenting, and news of the law changes filters through to everyone, we only see it becoming easier for single intended parents. Until then we will continue to fight for every intended parent, and shout about every family we help create, regardless of background, gender, relationship status, ethnicity or sexual orientation to name a few.
What else should I consider as a single person considering surrogacy?
As with any intended parent it is important to explore all the routes to having a family, and if surrogacy feels right to you then it is important to explore the options and routes within surrogacy too.
Any intended parent embarking on surrogacy will want to ensure that they have all the information about the practical steps involved, and what level of support they would like from a professional, be it clinic, law firm or agency. Surrogacy is a long and often emotional journey and many surrogates will want to know what an intended parents’ own support network is like, and who will be there for them to lean on in the tough times and share joy with in the good. For single people this is particularly important, and there may be a significant wait to even find a surrogate match.
Above all any single person should know that it is possible, and whether it be one heart or two, there is a way, and it is beautiful.
Find out more about single parent surrogacy
For more information on surrogacy, you can contact us to arrange an Options Review Meeting or visit:
Are you considering becoming a surrogate? Visit us here, or join our Facebook group specifically for women considering becoming surrogates here.