Pride and Joy #1: Men's Guide to Making Babies
Pride and Joy: Men’s Guide to Making Babies
This is the first of THREE blogs in our new series aimed to help men build their family through egg donation and surrogacy. Much of the advice we see out there is geared toward women going through a unique fertility journey. You may be a man doing this on your own, two ‘intended fathers’, or taking the lead on the egg donor search. Starting a family, especially when you may not have the “traditional” nuclear family, can feel like unknown territory. Our goal is to educate you and yours so that you can confidently create a fully-developed game plan that’s right for you. In our experience, if you are armed with knowledge and know what to expect, the occasional bumps and pitfalls will be much easier to navigate.
When you’re conceiving a family with the help of others, one of the most difficult aspects can be feeling out of control. More than likely you have always been a high achiever and felt pretty much in control of your own career and destiny… until now.
For those struggling with the loss of control in their fertility journey, we recommend you make sure you’ve researched your options. While you can’t control the outcome of your fertility journey, you can control the choices you make in this process. Educating yourself on the best reproductive professionals in your area, finding others with similar stories, or even seeking a mental health professional specializing in fertility can help ease your stress. You may not be in control, but you will be prepared--and that will help you stay positive and confident throughout your journey.
Feeling the Love
Doing your due diligence will help you feel more prepared, but it can also be overwhelming! There will be demands on your time, your finances, and your emotions. At times, coordinating all the moving parts to bring a child into the world can feel complicated and daunting. It may feel clinical or like a business project rather than the creation of love. And while the planning is necessary, we like to remind parents of one simple truth. Whether you’re a single parent or with a partner, you have the love and dedication to want to share your life with a child. This is a child who would not exist were you not taking these steps to open your heart and your home to create your family.
There is an expression among professionals in our field that “love makes a family.” Some families consist of a mom and a dad, some of a mom or a dad, others of two dads or two moms. I’ve even met families with two moms and two dads who were co-parenting. Families may look different today than they did 50 years ago, but they all have one thing in common - they have chosen to become a family, and the core of each family is based on love.
Where to Start
Everyone going through the egg donor process is committed to having a child, but they may not all know what to expect when they start. When you decide to embark on this journey, make room in your life like you would any other major project. This sounds like obvious advice, but it’s very important for you to have the emotional space to make these big choices. Just like other big life decisions you’ve made - choosing your career path, schooling, planning your wedding, or buying a house – conceiving via egg donation and surrogacy takes time and space to happen.
The difference with family building is that you are often at the mercy of other people – the fertility clinic, the egg donor, the surrogate, attorneys and agencies. As you do your research, build out the fertility team that works best for you. The professionals you work with will become your best resource, so we recommend you speak with multiple people and determine the best fit. By arming yourself with a knowledgeable team to lean on, you will find it an easier process.
You will need to find:
- A fertility clinic and doctor
- An egg donor to provide the genetic contribution
- A fertility attorney to review your contracts
- A gestational carrier
- A sperm contributor
- A budget – there are many unexpected costs involved in third-party fertility so you need to get all your financial plan ready before you start
See our RESOURCES LIST for some trusted options.
In our next blog, we will look at a multitude of nuanced considerations and decisions you will need to make along the way.
- What is a Reproductive Endocrinologist and how do you go about choosing one?
- What factors should you consider when looking at fertility clinics?
- What tests and health checks do you need to complete for yourself?
- How do you find an egg donor?
- Why do you need a surrogacy agency?
- What are the legal aspects of creating a family through third party fertility?
- How much is it going to cost?
- And finally,what happens during both the egg donation cycle and surrogacy process and what happens once your surrogate is pregnant?
Your first step will be to find a fertility clinic and doctor to work with.