It’s become fairly common these days for single women who want to have children to turn to options like adoption, sperm donors, or surrogacy in order to start a family. For men who are interested in having children without a partner, the options are naturally more limited.
Many find that adopting is difficult as a single man and that it can take years of waiting without a call or a sign of progress. Instead of adopting, some who are able to afford it are choosing surrogacy instead to start a family.
From a family law perspective, surrogacy presents unique challenges. One major consideration for couples or single parents who are employing a surrogate is creating an appropriate parental rights agreement.
The type of agreement and the terms of that agreement will vary from case-to-case, depending on the intentions of the specific parties at the time they decide to go forward with the surrogacy. For example, in the case of someone who decides to engage a surrogate through an agency, they will likely want a parental rights agreement that does not include any rights for the hired surrogate.
On the other hand, if someone asks a friend to donate an egg or act as their surrogate they might want to reserve some rights for that person in the future.
It is also important to consider state laws governing surrogacy. Some states are more restrictive than others, so it is necessary to look closely at the applicable laws in the state where both the parent and the surrogate live to determine how to frame an agreement.
Source: Associated Press, “Via surrogacy, some men opt to become single dads,” Sept. 1, 2013.