With legal surrogate mothers in short supply, gay and single men in the US are paying as much as US$175,000 for the privilege of raising their own child.
‘‘We tell people to budget $125,000 to $150,000 for a single baby, and $150,000 to $175,000 for twins,’’ said Stuart Bell, of Growing Generations, a leading commercial surrogacy agency in Los Angeles. This includes $8,000 to $10,000 for the egg donor and at least $25,000 for the surrogate mother.
Adoption is another option, of course, but often the process is long and difficult. ‘‘I was in an adoption pool for a year and half, didn’t get any calls and got bummed about the whole experience,’’ Trey Powell, a gay father from Seattle told Associated Press. ‘‘I just wanted to be a dad. Now he has twin daughters, born six months ago with the help of a surrogate mother. Psychologists told AP that men have their own “biological clock” for fatherhood. ‘‘They say they’ve always wanted to be a dad, they haven’t found a partner that they want to start a family with, they’re getting older and just don’t want to wait — the same things single women say,’’ says Madeline Feingold, an Oakland psychologist who works with clients going through surrogacy.
The phenomenon is not common, but there seems to be a rising trend. Growing Generations says that it helped 25 single men to become fathers through surrogacy last year. Commercial surrogacy is banned in many countries, giving US agencies a head start. India and the Ukraine allow it, but not for gay men.