Surrogacy is a legal agreement in which a fertile woman agrees to get pregnant and give birth to a child(s) for the intended parent(s). The parents could be choosing the surrogacy due to infertility, high health risks for the mother, same-sex couple, single couples, etc.
Gay men wanted to be fathers of their own children is a common incident, and hence, surrogacy is a particularly growing childbearing procedure among gay men.
Co-parenting for Gay Men
Co-parenting refers to a parenting situation in which two or, adults share the responsibilities of parenting a child(s). Initially, co-parenting was referred to divorced or separated single parent situations. The situation has evolved to include all single, gay and lesbian couples looking to raise children.
There are also cases where more than two adults are involved in taking care of the child(s); however, only two adults will be granted official legal custody of the child(s). There are countries that may allow custody of the child(s) to more than two adults.
In cases where the child(s) birth is through a surrogate, the intended parents are to take care of the financial and health requirements of the surrogate. Co-parenting includes a legal agreement involving the adults in the co-parenting situation deciding what responsibilities are to be taken care by whom.
Mentioned below are some of the major tasks one needs to keep in mind while choosing the co-parent to raise the child(s):
- Find a prospective co-parent and start planning
- It is important for both adults involved to discuss the surrogate, the child(s), expenses, responsibilities and all the other details.
- There are many websites and support groups one may get in touch with to find those interested in raising a child(s) with you.
- Each individual would be comfortable with a different set of responsibilities and level of commitments. It’s important to understand that the other partner is in it for the long run.
- Get to know the other half
- It is important to understand the co-parent to understand if you are compatible with each other. Spending some time with the co-parent is essential for this.
- There is a chance that you do not get well with the co-parent. It is crucial to figure this out before the baby(s) is born and break things off if necessary.
- Discussing and creating a custody schedule
- It is important to discuss and schedule custody of the child(s) with each parent.
- Apart from separate time with each co-parent, the child(s) also needs to spend quality time with both parents as a family. While discussing the custody schedule, it is also important to roster time as a family.
- Document all that is discussed
- All details, such as cost sharing, responsibilities, custody of the child(s), etc., are to be documented without fail.
- These documents not only serve as legal proof but also is a reference article in case of confusions.
- Have a lawyer by your side
- Surrogacy and co-parenting involve a lot of mandatory legal documentation. Ensure that all that is discussed and agreed upon are documented as required by law so as to avoid disputes in the future.
- Seek help from other gay co-parents
- There are communities, websites and support groups that other co-parents are a part of. One may always approach these societies for assistance.
With surrogacy, having a child(s) is one step closer for gay men. Co-parenting, if done right, will only help them ease the burden of cost and other responsibilities of raising the child and will allow them to better enjoy the experience of raising a child.