A Different Kind of Blog

news and things sacred and irreverent put together by opinionated people.

Single men turning to surrogates

Posted by kayms99 on December 28, 2008

art_walker_alexandraNEW YORK (CNN) — Jeff Walker says from as far back as he can remember, he always wanted to be a father.

Jeff Walker, with his two daughters, tried to adopt, but ultimately turned to surogacy to build a family.

“It was always something I knew, from the time I was a child.” Just like his 3-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, who says she wants to be a mommy someday, Jeff says, “I knew I wanted to be a daddy.”

Walker, a Manhattan music executive, says he and his partner had talked about adopting a baby years ago. But after three emotionally draining, failed attempts at adoption, they decided to turn to surrogacy. They contacted Circle Surrogacy, a Boston agency that specializes in gay clients. Their child was conceived with a donor egg, and then the embryo implanted in the surrogate, or carrier.

After Elizabeth was born, Walker and his partner separated. He then made a critical decision — to become a dad again, single, and by choice.

“I realized my family, my two-dad family was going to look different than I thought it was going to look,” he said. Without a partner, he would face even steeper challenges raising Elizabeth and a sibling alone. Walker says he gave the decision a lot of thought.

“That was the only part that was really controversial, because I do think there are a lot of challenges that single parents face, but at the same time I felt I was capable of handling those challenges,” he said.

His second daughter, Alexandra, was born two years ago to the same surrogate, implanted with an egg from a different donor.

Walker, 45, is one of a growing number of single men — both gay and straight — who are opting to become fathers alone, with the help of gestational surrogacy.

Surrogacy experts say because the practice is not regulated, many surrogacy arrangements are handled privately by individuals. Precise figures are hard to come by, but experts say there’s no doubt the United States is experiencing a surrogacy baby boom.

Celebrities like Ricky Martin and Clay Aiken announced this year they had had babies with the help of surrogates and the the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, representing scores of reproductive clinics, reports that the number of gestational surrogate births in the country quadrupled between 1996 and 2006.
Surrogacy experts say gestational surrogacy has increased steadily since the advent of in vitro fertilization in the early 1980s, because it provides an extra layer of emotional and legal protection for the client. The egg donor usually does not even know the client, and unlike the legally contentious “Baby M” case from the 1980s, the surrogate is not giving birth to her genetic child.

“It rises as an issue far less frequently with gestational surrogacy, because women never see it as their child to begin with,” said John Weltman, president of Circle Surrogacy.

His agency, which expects more than 70 babies to be born in 2009, has seen a 50 percent growth in the number of single male clients over the past year.

Walker and other men are willing to pay well over $100,000 to have a baby through surrogacy — the final cost depending on the number of IVF treatments necessary and how much is paid by insurance.

Circle is not the only major surrogacy provider experiencing a single-dad surge. At Growing Generations, a Los Angeles, California, agency that facilitates about 100 births a year, the number of single men seeking surrogates has doubled in the past three years, spokeswoman Erica Bowers said.

Although most of their single male clients are gay, surrogacy providers say a smaller but growing number are straight. Steven Harris, a New York malpractice and personal-injury attorney, says he gave up trying to get married when he realized his primary motive was to start a family.

Harris, 54, says he knew he made the right decision after 21-month old Ben was born.

“I thought getting married was the only way to go, because I did want a family. But having Ben, I feel complete now,” Harris says.
By Ronni Berke
CNN Senior Producer

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47 Responses to “Single men turning to surrogates”

  1. kathy (kayms91) said

    This article is interesting because of the multiple issues involved… adoption by a single parent, adoption by gay couples, the very interesting issue of egg donation and how it practically eliminates the threat of the biological parent “changing their mind” but I’m going to take this opportunity to rant for a moment about something else, something that really ‘irks’ me… I absolutely HATE it when after reading an article, you’re still left with questions – very pertinent questions – that do not even get addressed… in this instance it is the question of whether the father in this story is the biological father… I’m always interested in a person’s heredity… and unlike what seems like many people I know.. I believe it is a great way to get to know and understand a person ( and ourselves) as far as their personal characteristics go ( personality and physical). In this article the reader is left to make an assumption that the father is the biological father.. I guess?… another perfect recent example is the story of the Santa gunman… when I heard on the news (CNN) about the 8 year old girl getting shot in the face…my immediate question was… well…was she killed? I don’t know… they didn’t say…well, of course she died… it’s so obvious that they didn’t even feel the need to say so… duh… but, I find out later, to my relief, that she DIDN’T die… great news… it would have been nice to know that earlier… it certainly would have made for a more informative news story that’s for sure!…
    These are just two recent examples of many that I’ve experienced… I do have less confidence in jounalists /writers today, which I think is a direct result of our declining quality of education in this country… another subject, another rant…..

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  3. Lawman2 said

    hey there kay!great post!and i found myself enjoying your comment and insight as much as i did the post itself.i like it when that happens.

    personally i wouldn’t want to parent alone, or even try.men are wired differently than women, and i just believe women are the “softer”of the two sexes and they would provide the “love”that a young child needs.i think i would try and provide an example,guidence,stablility, and of course provide the income needed to support the family unit. but not sure what else i could offer a child.

    a childs love from their mother i think is the most important key in raising productive healthy young adults.my dad provided well for us, but without my mother’s love, and emotional support (which by the way i pretended not to need or want as a young man)i don’t know what kind of man i would have become.because of her love,and her intereactions with my father,brother and myself,i learned how to treat women.

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  4. Rj said

    Lawman, would you be willing to go “on the record” with what you just said???…let’s say, maybe over at Justice for Mothers????

    and do you believe this, as in genetically men are wired differently than women? I mean, do you really, really believe this?

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  5. kathy (kayms91) said

    Thanks Lawman… I do agree with you again, that the sexes are wired differently ( sorry I keep disagreeing with you RJ.. I did agree with much of what you said though on your last post on J4M’s blog ). And you’ll be interested in knowing that Bill Keller also agrees with you Lawman! Woman are ‘geared’ towards nurturing, men are ‘geared’ for hunting and gathering. But I also believe that clearly there are exceptions and variances… some men clearly are instilled with the nurturing qualities and have the strong desire to do so as this article shows. And vice versa for some women.
    Your mother sounds like a great person. While my mom was present… my brother and I had near zero nurturing from her growing up.. my dad was forced to take on both roles and he did the best he could.. he did a great job. You would be surprised at how much more you have to offer your children than you think! While we are wired differently, God also made us resourceful and capable of taking on the opposite role when it was needed.

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  6. Lawman2 said

    yep rj i would go on record saying that for the most part women should have custody of their children.there are exceptions ie drug addicts and such.but for the most part women are better with their children and for their children.

    AND yes i really really do believe women and men are wired differenty.i know i loose my cool quicker than my wife does.she see’s only the good, while i am looking for the bad, so i can protect her from it.she trust everyone,i trust her.

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  7. Lawman2 said

    hey there again kay.guess i don’t sugar coat things enough for most people…but if you ask any man if women and men are wired differently (and their wife or girlfriend is not standng right there)it is a no brainer they will all agree wih me.

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  8. Lawman2 said

    justice is in love with me rj…she can’t help herself,most women can’t…hehehe

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  9. centered2 said

    Good post Kayms99. I happen to believe men play just as an important role in their childrens lives as the mother. As a man with children, I can say honestly I love being a daddy!

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  10. centered2 said

    Speaking of which, I brought my youngest son to stay the night here with me (we are house sitting for lawman and tothewire) and it is time to put him to bed.

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  11. kathy (kayms91) said

    Thank you Centered2… I definitely agree, both roles are equally important… love is what a child needs and both parents are equally responsible to love their child… it’s just that in the conventional roles, the mother’s & father’s love seems to be communicated in different ways (usually). You sound like a great dad and brother ( and brother in law).

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  12. Rj said

    Then, Lawman, would you be willing to go post that on the EVIL thread??? LOL. Or can I use it on my site??? Or both would be better.

    I can’t say with certainty that I believe that men and women are “hardwired” differently as I am unaware of an situation in which an infant is allow to grow up free of social constraints…to be….merely….a human. If you allow yourself to consider this: the minute you are born, you are forced to be one way or another….What color blanket, booties, cap do you get in the hospital???? Then, your parents “treat” you and flood you with “girly” or “boy” type items….clothing, toys. It is a forced hand.

    Consider the boy …toddler even…that goes and puts on his mommy’s shoes and make-up…most would shun, or tell him he is silly…or worse…and then pass him the transformers or go make him play in the dirt.

    If you say it is hard wired, then what do you call those who believe that they are women (and born as men) and vice versa? I know what hard core religious folks would call them…but that’s another conversation.

    And where’s the proof?

    Kathy, disagreement only serves to expand my thinking…which makes me stronger than anyone could ever imagine.

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  13. Rj said

    If most women are in love with you, why did you wait so long to get married? No sarcasm intended.

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  14. kathy (kayms91) said

    Hi Rj… I so agree with you! Disagreeing (debating) is very beneficial… the world wouldn’t be nearly as advanced if everyone in history agreed all the time.

    I do (again) disagree with your view on the hardwired topic… I think that in your point, you disprove your point… you’re saying that ( oh and I hope I’m not getting confused again lol ) in the nuture vs nature issue that nuturing plays the dominant role and I guess you are completely dismissing the idea of being wired towards a certain behavior, but your point to Lawman shows that even though people are nutured a certain way they still will grow up believing they do not fit that role… so that means that they are ‘wired’ differently than they were brought up. So the ‘wired’ concept is real. Another example of this… my mother said when I was little that I would pick up my crayon and use it with my left hand and every time she would remove it from my left hand and put it in my right hand, I would put it back in my left hand… because obvously I’m ‘wired’ to be left handed. The ‘wired’ concept seems extremely logical and scientifically proven.

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  15. lawman2 said

    i had to spread the love rj!share the mojo!no really most women just couldn’t put up with a man who won’t grow up!i like to play too much. Most women find me to be an arrogant cave man and can’t stand to be around me for long! Lol

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  16. Lawman2 said

    feel free to post whatever i say anywhere you want rj…just credit me for it!lol

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  17. Rj said

    I think people believe whatever they want to about wiring…whatever fits the contemporary or current major model of thinking. People are bandwagon jumpers. Its easier to jump on board rather than explore and reach your own consciousness. I wasn’t trying to prove that anyone was or wasn’t wired…only saying that “men” and “women” “are wired”..is a generality…which, if you want to speaking “in general,” you’re still leaving out a lot of folk.

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  18. Rj said

    OMG how does your wife put up with you, Lawman?

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  19. kathy (kayms91) said

    It would be a lot easier for me to believe ( as a traditional Christian) that we are ALL wired the same (according to our gender ) which would then allude to ( and make it easier to support) the belief that people who choose homosexuality (for example) are going against God and his ‘wiring’ of us. But I don’t believe that everything is that ‘cut and dry’. I do believe there are exceptions to the wiring concept of traditional male / female roles but for the most part, men and women are wired to fullfill specific roles. Those specific roles have helped to sustain our human race for thousands of years.

    And I again soooo agree with you that the majority of people are bandwagon jumpers – that is another major gripe of mine…
    That’s pretty much the basis of the concept of ‘Reverse Ignorance’… ” a troubling new social ill ” which I wrote in Nov.
    https://tothewire.wordpress.com/a-troubling-new-social-ill-reverse-ignorance/

    If you haven’t read it yet… I’d love to get your opinion on it Rj.

    And if you don’t mind Lawman & TTW.. if your reading… I want to put it on AlphaInventions… and maybe you could give it that special number?

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  20. Lawman2 said

    yes of course that will be fine kay!

    rj my wife loves me 🙂

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  21. Rj said

    So basically, men are wired to leave and hunt and women are wired to gather and take care of children. Men are wired to get sex and women are wired to receive the ______. LMAO. At what point do species evolve? …or what is another word I can use since there is no such thing as evolution?? LMAO. If we are wired, then someone has been totally F*ing with us for the past few decades.

    You want MY opinion? Are you attempting to stretch your imagination or am I your lab rat? I’d rather talk about sex. However, I’ll try to read it right now if it’s not too long.

    Lawman, your wife love YOU, or IT? LMAO…I just can’t stop laughing.

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  22. Lawman2 said

    she loves the caveman’s mojo rj!she can’t get enough of the ol’ caveman!

    truth is she most likely got tired of trying to dodge me and just gave up and married me hehehe

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  23. Lawman2 said

    i have a post that i was starting to write,but my wife said she would rather i not post it 😦

    i lost my temper with some guy who was openely flirting with my wife, at first i was pretty cool with it, afterall my wife really is very attractive…but damn the guy just went out of his way to push it too far EVEN after my wife politely asked him to leave her a lone. i felt like a dog for loosing my cool. almost was arrested (that wouldn’t have looked good for me) all in all it is a funny story though.

    i think everyone should email her and tell her they want me to finish my post so they can read it! 🙂

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  24. Rj said

    Kathy, I tried to read the post at the link…but #1, it was too long (as I had feared), #2, I didn’t find it interesting, #4, the Obama and Muslim thing is so played out that I couldn’t concentrate, #4, as I speculate that all of you/most of you are non people of color, I do not feel like getting into a debate about how some non persons of color fail to leave some of their privileges checked when delving into discourse about “sensitive issues.” Maybe another time, a shorter post. Did you just try to set me up?

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  25. kathy (kayms91) said

    Rj, no I didn’t try to set you up… since writing the post I have asked for everyone’s opinion… that you mentioned the issue of jumping on the bandwagon, I thought you might relate / understand the point of the article or at least find it interesting… it is long, i agree.

    As to #4 If I am one who doesn’t leave my privileges checked when debating sensitive issues, I want to know that and I would admit it if that is the case ( and try to correct it)… it’s that growing and learning thing we were talking about… but I don’t believe, at this point, that that is the case.

    also want to mention… the article is not about Obama being a Muslim or not… it’s about ignorance.

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  26. dorian9 said

    so this is where everybody is..all this talk about wiring – i prefer wireless. and that’s all i’ve got to say.

    oh, except for i would like to hear the complete story in a post, lawman – ttw, we already know the caveman has a temper so it’s okay..we like him just the way he is, a caveman atheist, narcissistic and courageous (except for scary movies), funny and bright guy who did not vote for obama. i miss those caveman stories and the cartoons too…

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  27. Lawman2 said

    i posted it…tothewire is sleeping like a baby lol

    rj i don’t think anyone mentioned my color or lack of it. i am part black but all man.i have blue eyes like my dad, light colored but colored like my mother.she is half black.i never mention my color and made sure tothewire never mentioned it because i don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable with how they address me.color is not an issue when we are on here.i could pass as white i am sure in person,but i happen to be proud of my blackness as with it came a nice package…LOL

    i don’t think kay is racist in the least and why should anyone tip toe around you just because you might be towards whites?

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  28. Lawman2 said

    i still don’t like kay’s post reverse ignorance,i still say let’s hope reversal of ignorance does spread!

    one more thing rj…when i was a kid there was this family of racist down the road and they made life a living hell for my parents, and it was really tough on us kids.i remember their daughter always calling me a “nigg” i didn’t know she meant nigger until one day my mother turned to her and said that’s right little girl and some day my nigger son will be your boss.i think the girl now is still a waitress back home with 3 kids all from different men.

    my mother never taught us to tip toe around any subject,why should anyone have to?i am part black part white both races disclude me, not that i give a shit one way or the other.BECAUSE most importantly I am A MAN.

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  29. Kenny said

    I can assure you that men can provide the nuturing that a child requires. My partner and I (yes, one of us is the biological parent) have twins who just turned two. We used a gestational surrogate. We were present during the IVF transfer. We attended every OB appt that our surrogate had and were present in the delivery room. I’ll never forget the moment I saw each one of them for the first time.

    I gave up a career as a CPA to stay home with my children and I’m so glad I did. I worked hard earning both a master’s and a PhD so I thought I might miss working, but I don’t. I love every minute I get to spend with my children. The change from two incomes to one income (my partner works full-time) has meant sacrifices but it’s so worth it. Our kids are typical two year olds and you’d never know they had two dads unless someone told you. And, they are definitely boy boys. They love anything with a motor – cars, trains, trucks, motorcycles, airplanes, etc. When I make pancakes for breakfast they both hold up a pancake and pretend it’s a steering wheel and start yelling, “Drive. Drive.” They are only two and already want their driver’s license.

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  30. Lawman2 said

    hey there kenny!good comment AND i would like to point out you have a partner to help you.you are the one in the nurturing role someone has to play that part.i am not saying i wouldn’t love my kids and try to nurture them to any degree i am able.i just know that my wife is the one who will actually be better at it.

    i wanted to know how my wife’s best friend rick felt about it because he is gay…i was surprised when he said “of course men are wired differently than women we have dicks and they don’t.” LOL

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  31. Rj said

    I thought you might relate / understand the point of the article or at least find it interesting… it is long,

    i could have possibly related…but I haven’t been able to get through any of the posts on this site that are past a certain length. I have a short attention span. And I was joking about setting me up.

    also want to mention… the article is not about Obama being a Muslim or not… it’s about ignorance.

    Yeah, I realized it, however….

    i don’t think kay is racist in the least and why should anyone tip toe around you just because you might be towards whites?

    What? Je ne comprend pas.

    A nice package, eh? That’s why I asked if TTW liked YOU or IT…LOL.

    I can’t say Kay is racist either because I haven’t read one of her posts LMAO.

    my mother never taught us to tip toe around any subject,why should anyone have to?

    I didn’t say anyone HAD to. I said I wasn’t getting into it. Big difference.

    @ Kenny–Of course they can!

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  32. Lawman2 said

    lol rj this monster hasn’t had anything to snack on maybe i ate one without knowing it and then realized it left a bad taste in my mouth and spit it out again hehehe

    by the way,do you have another good post for us to read back at your site? http://www.thearjayconception.com/

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  33. Lawman2 said

    i can relate to that by the way tothewire tells me all the time i don’t need to repeat myself…maybe i think she is hard hearing because it seems to take three times to make anything stick!

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  34. kathy (kayms91) said

    ok…well, I don’t care what you guys say… my Reverse Ignorance article is good… it brings attention to a real problem in society that needs to be addressed.

    As far as the issue of me being a racist… my daughter’s father could pass as a black man even though he is Hispanic. A am extremely proud of the fact that I grew up with a father that taught us among other things that the ‘n’ word was a disgusting word and never ever to use it. I am proud especially because I’ve had several friends who’s parents didn’t teach them these kinds of things, unfortunately they passed their ignorance on to their children.

    now I’m going to post my reverse ignorance article again.

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  35. Lawman2 said

    don’t get me wrong kay it is well written.i just can’t get past the name.when i started reading the post for the first time i was expecting to read about reversing ignorance instead i read a well written post about “choosing to be ignorant” by your terms of ignorance of course.

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  36. Lawman2 said

    i don’t agree with most of what you have in there,being an atheist pretty much should tell you why.
    NOT to mention i don’t care if muslim’s think obama is the chosen one,or just a nose picker from america.why should i care what the hell they think?they believe in a lot more dangerous things anyway.

    as for obama thinking he is,i disagree.i think he is a socialist and he knows he is for sure,but no chosen one.maybe chosen to be president of the usa and he has high hopes of reforming us into a socialist country.but hell we are so close to that already most people will sleep right through it.

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  37. kathy (kayms91) said

    Thank you Kenny for your personal insight / experience on this subject. I do think that some men are ‘wired’ for nurturing as are some women for hunting etc. And to not leave things undone… some people who may be wired for both…
    It sounds like your sons will be growing up with a lot of love.

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  38. Lawman2 said

    kay i entered it like you asked, just like i enter all new post.

    new post stay in there longer or at least get more hits not sure why.

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  39. Lawman2 said

    by the way kay i think i should add I WANT CAVEBABIES RUNNING AROUND TOTHEWIRE’S AND MY CRIB SOON! i feel the desire to be a dad very much.

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  40. Lawman2 said

    tothewires friend rick agreed with me men and women are wired differently and rick is gay.he said if they are straight men and straight women the rule really rings true.i agree.

    so maybe how i should state that is like this:

    Straight men are wired differently than gay men and straight women! LOL

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  41. kathy (kayms91) said

    ugh.. here we go again… Lawman… do you also think the same thing when you hear the term ‘reverse discrimination’??

    Do you think it means non discrimination?? I hope not… because that is not what it means! you have to know that right?

    I can’t resist trying this again… do you believe there is such a thing as ‘reverse ignorance’ (as I described it) and do you think that this problem needs to be addressed, that it is a real problem?? That’s what the article is about… It’s really not about Obama and whether he is a Muslim and / or the chosen one. It’s about the scenario that IF it were to be true and Obama was a (secret) Muslim or even linked to terrorism… the only way he could have been elected, after what happened on 9/11, would be because of the gross problem of REVERSE IGNORANCE in American society.
    And my point is that there ARE questions (WITHOUT ANSWERS) as to his true agenda yet he still got elected…. that doesn’t mean I believe he is any of these things but I felt it was irresponsible to vote for him without answers / explanations to these questions!! But many people did vote for him ANYWAY without asking questions, because they feared they would be accused of ignorance if they questioned him. And many others just mindlessly (like sheep) jumped on the bandwagon and quickly accused anyone of ignorance who did raise any questions about Obama. And there inlies the reverse ignorance.

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  42. kathy (kayms91) said

    Thanks Lawman for posting that…

    I think that’s great… but start mentally preparing yourself now… of the obvious things but also the sleepless nights…ugh! I can’t wait for those stories lol.. I think you’ll make a great dad…

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  43. kathy (kayms91) said

    And, I forgot to add in there… when you read the title “Reverse Ignorance – a troubling new social ill” why would you think that ‘reversing’ ignorance would be called a “troubling new social ill”? I think the title makes it clear that the article is not about something good..(reversing ignorance) because it (Reverse Ignorance) is labeled as a TROUBLING social ILL!?

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  44. Rj said

    please delete the repeats. i thought i could do it myself–i remember doing it on other blogs…

    Like

  45. Lawman2 said

    hey there rj took care of it… 🙂

    kay, you do know that when reverse discrimination came into play by our government THAT is exactly what it was meant to do REVERSE DISCRIMINATION against blacks and other minorities.we no longer use the term because it does have the word discrimination in it.you do know that don’t you?white people are the ones who DON’T like reverse discrimination as they feel it made them a product of discrimination themselves….you might need to study the whole thing before you decide to keep the term.

    as far as a troubling new social disorder…ignorance and the choice to remain ignorant is not a new disorder AT ALL.americans have practiced this for many many years when it comes to our government.

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  46. kathy (kayms91) said

    Lawman… yes I do know that… you and TTW told me this BUT the majority of people (who are not attorneys) DON’T know this… to them Reverse Discrimination has a different meaning, the same meaning that is given if you look the term up in various dictionaries (non attorney dictionaries).

    I personally have no problem with the term reverse discrimination… it’s not about race to me… it’s about ANY person being treated unfairly for whatever reason.

    And, to correct you Lawman…my article points out that ‘reverse ignorance’ is a new kind of ignorance in the sense that much of society now overcompensates their ‘non’ ignorance out of the fear of being accused of the ‘tabu’ of being politically incorrect. Overcompensates by closing their eyes and not asking questions, critical questions that must be asked. Again, this problem was displayed very clearly with Obama’s presidential campaign. In this new age (post 9/11) this is a NEW problem, again, that needs to be addressed because the consequences are too great.

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  47. kathy (kayms91) said

    And again… you keep wanting to turn the TERM ‘reverse discrimiation’ into an action sentence… and that is not what I am referring to… I’m referrng to the term.

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