A generation or two ago, virtually everyone believed that a child needed one mother and one father. But changing lifestyles -- particularly demanding careers that make it difficult to focus on a relationship -- make two-parent households less and less common. More people, both men and women, are looking into single parenthood and finding that it is a good fit.
Children raised in single parent households thrive when their parents are involved, loving, and part of an extended community of friends and family. Indeed, single parent family planning options have become so popular and so common that organizations such as Single Mothers by Choice (SMBC) have sprung up across the globe.
If you are considering single parenthood, you may need help to achieve a pregnancy. We partner with individuals each day to produce happy, healthy children.
Fertility Treatments for Individual Men
Men who wish to become biological parents often face a more difficult road than women, since they will need to rely on donor eggs. Men produce millions of sperm, but women only produce a single egg each month. Thus eggs are more expensive, and require more care to extract from the donor. Because embryos do not grow in isolation, men interested in single parenthood will also need a woman to donate her womb for nine months.
Some men opt to pay an experienced surrogate with a history of successful pregnancies. This is the priciest option, but is often the most successful. Other men prefer to work with a friend or family member. If you choose a relative, you will share more DNA with your future child. Though this is less costly, it can often create a significant emotional toll. You also will need to choose a relative who is not a close relative, since this increases the odds of birth defects.
Whichever route you choose, you'll have to provide a sperm donation. We will then artificially inseminate the woman you have chosen, either by intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Fertility Treatments for Individual Women
Individual women who want to have a biological child will need the sperm of a man. He can be a donor from a sperm bank, or a friend or family member. If you choose donor sperm, you'll be able to choose from a catalog of men, selecting for health, appearance, life history, and a myriad of other factors.
If you opt to choose a family member or someone else you know, you'll already have a relationship with that person. This can be good or bad depending upon how parenthood affects that relationship. Some women prefer to choose a family member so that they share more genetic material with their child. If you do opt for a family member, you will need to choose someone to whom you are not closely related. A second cousin is fine, but a brother is not.
Once you've selected your donor, we can help you begin the artificial insemination process for single women. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is the easiest and least costly option. It works well for women who have no history of reproductive problems. If IUI fails, your doctor might recommend trying IVF, a form of artificial insemination whereby the doctor fertilizes the egg outside of your body, then implants the embryo into your uterus.
Many women using artificial insemination with donor sperm opt to take hormones to increase the number and quality of their eggs. We will work with you to assess whether this is the right option for you.
Infertility in Single Parents
Single parents planning to have a child often believe that their biggest obstacle will be finding donor sperm or eggs. But individuals struggle with fertility issues just as frequently as couples do. The good news is that you only have to do half the testing, since trouble with a pregnancy as an individual means the problem is with you. Additionally, many family planning options for fertility issues involve artificial insemination -- something you will already have to do if you're planning to become a parent by yourself -- so you may be able to avoid some procedures.
If you can't produce a pregnancy after a few tries, we may recommend a more aggressive approach. Because fertility issues are common, we will test you for a range of issues before embarking on a course of single parent artificial insemination. Thus you'll know before you even try whether you have a fertility issue, potentially eliminating months and even years of fruitless trying.