Celebrating Same-Sex Parents
Gay couples have parented children for years, providing loving homes and stable support—but giving birth to a child with a genetic connection to one or both parents has not always been possible. Thanks to the legalization of same-sex marriage and the tireless efforts of advocates, same-sex parenting—including surrogacy—is on the rise. In 2015, the Williams Institute reportedthat around 125,000 same-sex couples were raising almost 220,000 children under eighteen.
While lesbian couples may only need a sperm donor to become pregnant, bringing a newborn into the world has traditionally been more challenging for gay men. With new advances in fertility science and laws in favor of same-sex couples, we’re seeing things start to change. An informal study conducted by Fertility IQ on behalf of the Chicago Tribune found that 10 to 20 percent of donor eggs are going to gay men having babies via surrogacy. These numbers are encouraging—and the people behind the numbers are even more inspiring.
“These are the gentlemen who come to my table most prepared,” says Mindy Berkson, Founder and Surrogacy Consultant for Newborn Advantage. “ They are looking to build their families, which is a happy experience—and we are glad to be part of it.”
Cheers to Men Supporting Mothers
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), about 9% of men and about 11% of women in the United States who are of reproductive age have experienced fertility problems. The feeling of loss associated with infertility can be challenging for men and women. A study conducted by the NIH found that 40% of female patients with infertility had depression, and 86.8% had anxiety. Women going through infertility issues can greatly benefit from the support of a loving partner, and the men who fill this role are exceptional examples of fatherhood.
It’s also important to note that men are emotionally affected by infertility, too. In a separate NIH study of infertile couples, men reported elevated depression scores before treatment, and lower positive affect scores before the pregnancy test. It’s clear that husbands and spouses need support, too.
Praise for Surrogate Partners
The women who choose to become surrogates devote nearly a year of their lives to the task of carrying a baby, so that an intended parent can welcome a child into their family. While these women are truly praiseworthy, the men in their lives deserve recognition as well. Surrogates need a good support system, and men play a vital role. Whether it’s a husband or boyfriend who supports his partner through her pregnancy, a father who praises his daughter for her commitment and strength, or a friend who is there to listen when a surrogate needs to talk, these men make the surrogacy journey so much more joyful and rewarding.
Happy Father’s Day to Our Heroes.
More than 2,000 babies are born via U.S. surrogates every year—and guys, we couldn’t do it without you. To those of you who are already fathers, we are your biggest fans. For those who are expecting, we congratulate you on your decision to begin this journey, and we know you’re going to be amazing dads.
“The men in surrogacy are true partners,” says Berkson. “It’s a team approach— and when everyone is the same page, it’s so much easier and more rewarding.”
From all of us at Newborn Advantage, Happy Father’s Day!
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