Roughly 20% of single-parent households are single fathers, a group that has grown substantially in the past few decades. This translates to over 2.2 million single-parent households being led by dads (unfortunately the census doesn't ask how many of those men are single dads by choice). Research shows that single fathers provide healthy and supportive environments for their children, and actually spend more time with their children than do fathers in any other family structure.
How to have a child as a single dad by choice
There are a few options for building your family as a single dad by choice. Adoption and foster care are available domestically, and some international countries allow single-parent adoption. A single man who wants to be genetically related to their child can pursue egg donation, coupled with a gestational carrier (often called a “surrogate”) who carries the pregnancy but does not have shared genetics with the child. Both of these options take time and money, but are well worth the effort.
As egg donation and surrogacy become more widely available, the number of single fathers by choice is increasing – and we are proud to serve this incredible group of intended parents!
Considerations for anyone considering parenthood
There are two major considerations that any parent – single or coupled – must think about on their path to parenthood.
The first is the financial costs of having and raising a child. These costs vary widely depending on location and preferences. The Brookings Institution found that the cost to raise a child from birth is $310,605 per child (for a middle-class family with two children). Of course, if you live in a major city like San Francisco or New York City, expect that number to at least double. This also does not include the cost of college, an expense that continues to increase.
The second consideration is support. Parenting, especially in the early days, is a full-time role. Think about your village, and what you need to fully support your future family. Do you live near family members who are willing to help? If you work, will the child attend daycare or will you hire a nanny? Think about the day-to-day and how you will juggle parenthood with everything else in your life.
Advice from the daughter of a single dad
I was raised by a single father (albeit by divorce and not by choice). I had a happy upbringing, and am very close to my father to this day. One of my fondest memories is when we fixed up a vintage car together. My dad shared his life passions with me (namely cars) and I had plenty of family and friends to round out my exposure to other interests. The best part of our relationship had nothing to do with his status as a single dad. In fact, I don’t even think about him that way. He’s just my dad – a loving, supportive, dorky parent who helped shape me into the person I am today.
- Men Having Babies is a non-profit dedicated to providing gay men with educational and financial support to achieve parenthood; we love their events and attend their annual conference!
- The National Council for Adoption has great resources for pursuing single parent adoption
- The Single Parents Alliance of America (SPAA) is comprised of information resources, programs and savings for single parents across the United States
- The Single Fathers By Choice Facebook group is an online support community of over 1,000 people who have decided to become parents on their own
- SoloParent.org is a site run by a single-dad to support solo parents of faith. They also offer online and in-person support groups
- Single Parent Advocate is a non-profit committed to educating, equipping and empowering single parents with resources, practical assistance, emotional encouragement and social networking to better their lives, and those of their children
- Parents Without Partners (PWP) is a non-profit providing single parents and their children with an opportunity for enhancing personal growth, self-confidence, and sensitivity towards others by offering an environment for support, friendship and the exchange of parenting techniques
- Fatherly is the leading digital media brand for dads
- Fatherhood.gov is a site for dads looking for tips, hints, and even deals for dads and kids
- Nathan Chan is the single dad and influencer behind the lifestyle blog Single Daddy By Choice
At Cofertility, we honor your choice to pursue egg donation and support many single fathers. Our donors aren’t doing it for the cash – they keep half the eggs retrieved for their own future use, and donate half to your family.
As someone raised by a single father, I know first hand that single dads are more than capable of raising happy, healthy children. If we can help you build your family, please reach out!
Halle Tecco is a healthcare founder and investor, and women's health advocate. She previously founded Rock Health and then Natalist (acquired by Everly Health). She is a Board Director at Resolve and an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School. Halle received her MBA from Harvard Business School and her MPH from Johns Hopkins University with a concentration in Women’s and Reproductive Health. Education - Bachelor of Science (BS) from Case Western Reserve University - Masters of Public Health (MPH) from Johns Hopkins University - Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Harvard Business School Certifications & Accomplishments - Advisor at Harvard Medical School Department of Biomedical Informatics since 2014 - Board Member of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association since 2022 - Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business 2023 - Goldman Sachs Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs - San Francisco Business Times 40 Under 40 - Forbes 30 Under 30 - Business Insider 30 under 40 in Healthcare - Has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and CNBC - Has spoken at the Aspen Ideas Festival, CES, TechCrunch Disrupt, and was a SXSW Keynote speaker
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