Bill Guest was about 30 when his biological clock kicked in, and he was single.
His friends were having kids left and right, and suddenly being a doting uncle wasn’t enough. Guest was single, wasn’t particularly interested in getting married, but he did very much want a child, and not an older child.
“I wanted a baby,” said Guest, 40, of Villa Park. “I wanted to experience all of the stages of life.”
With Father’s Day approaching, single fathers such as Guest are a reminder of how far modern men will go to become parents.
He is one of the small but growing number of single men who are becoming fathers via surrogacy, in which a woman agrees to carry someone else’s baby. Surrogacy can cost more than $100,000 and involves finding a woman who wants to carry your child, achieving a pregnancy via in vitro fertilization, and navigating the emotional experience of pregnancy and childbirth with a surrogate who has her own needs, responsibilities and boundaries.
At Family Source Consultants in Chicago, which has facilitated about eight single-father/surrogate matches so far this year, up from about five last year, co-founder Zara Griswold said that single men, both gay and heterosexual, are pursuing surrogacy for the same reason single women are freezing their eggs: They really want biological children.
“Men who have a paternal instinct — it is no less than women who have a maternal instinct,” said Griswold.
“They will be as obsessed as a woman will be; they just want it so much. And then when they have their babies they’re so happy; they’re so grateful; they’re such great parents.”
Alternative Reproductive Resources, another Chicago agency, matches about three single dads with surrogates each year, according to CEO Robin von Halle.
Guest, a stay-at-home dad to Freya, 19 months, said that he looked into adoption through the foster care system, but the kids who were available were 6 or 7.
“I kind of gave up,” he said, but his mom, Josephine, urged him to go online and try again, and he found Men Having Babies, a nonprofit that helps gay men become dads. About 60 percent of the single dads via surrogacy at Family Source Consultants are gay; the rest are heterosexual.
by Nara Schoenberg, June 13, 2018, Chicago Tribune
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