In previous decades, the idea of becoming a single parent by choice was often very limited. Typically, the only option was to adopt, which was limited as many agencies preferred or required adopters to be married heterosexual couples.
Fast forward to 2022, and there are now many options for single parents. The advancements in assisted reproductive technology or ART have made it so that individuals or couples of any background now have the opportunity to build their own families.
Regarding fertility treatment, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind before taking the next steps. Being aware of these considerations will help you better understand your fertility journey and help you set expectations as you go.
Considerations for Single Parents By Choice
Pursuing single parenthood by choice is a great option for those who haven’t found the right partner or are just ready to get their family started. With that said, this newer family dynamic of single parent to a child or children is newer and not always recognized in the way you would expect.
- Not everyone is open to others being single mothers or fathers by choice. While this shouldn’t deter you from your decision, it’s important to be mindful that some people may offer unwelcome advice or comments. In most cases, these people mean no harm and are likely uneducated on the possibilities for your future. With that said, it’s great to take this time to educate them or ignore their remarks.
- Pursuing Fertility Treatment can be mentally and physically draining. Be sure to build a strong support system around you as you navigate this new journey in your life. You can lean in on friends or family or even a therapist to help you ease into each step of the process.
- Not all fertility services are covered for single parents. We recommend reaching out to your insurance providers to see your coverage options as you consider single parenthood. There are still some limitations for those who choose to do fertility treatment independently. In addition to insurance, there are some other great financing options you can consider to make your dreams of a family come true.
These are important considerations to remember as you start your journey to single parenthood by choice, but remember there are always support and financing options available.
Now that we’ve covered some of the important considerations let’s talk about the potential fertility treatment options for those on their journey towards single parenthood.
Fertility Treatment Options for Single Mothers By Choice
Women pursuing to become single mothers by choice will need to consider their options with donor sperm. They can receive donor sperm through someone they know personally or an anonymous donor through a donor agency. These agencies can help select the best sperm donor based on your preferences.
In addition to the need for donor sperm, a woman must undergo one of two procedures. The first one is intrauterine insemination or IUI. This is a procedure where the donor sperm would be placed directly into the uterus using a small catheter. The second procedure is called in vitro fertilization or IVF, where a woman will undergo a retrieval cycle to obtain eggs that the donor sperm will then fertilize.
Your doctor can discuss the best option for you based on your fertility health and family-building goals.
Fertility Treatment Options for Single Fathers By Choice
For men wanting to become single fathers, a gestational carrier is required. This gestational carrier is a woman who will carry and then deliver a child for the individual. In most cases, this gestational carrier is not biologically related to the embryo they carry, so the use of a donor egg or embryo is also a part of the process.
Men can use donor eggs from a known donor, such as a friend or acquaintance, or they can choose to work with an agency. The agency can help them select a donor that meets their needs and help them along with the process of receiving fresh or frozen donor eggs.
Next Steps for Single Parenthood Journey
There is a lot to consider when pursuing the path of single parenthood, so we recommend setting up your initial consultation with a reproductive endocrinologist to get you going in the right direction.
During this initial consultation, you will have an opportunity to meet with the doctor to learn more about your options and fertility health. The doctor may run a few diagnostic tests and can also discuss the differences between your options to help you make the best decision that meets your unique family-building needs.
Here at Nova IVF, we offer state-of-the-art fertility treatment and a compassionate team to help you navigate your fertility treatment. Call now to schedule our initial consult and meet today with one of our two amazing doctors, Dr. Schmidt or Dr. Shah.