Families are changing in Cabot. The idea of a mother, a father and two children is now only one way to define “family.” With parents divorcing and remarrying, same-sex couples adopting children, and single adults raising children alone, “family” now means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Even the way people are having children is changing: surrogacy is an option for couples having trouble conceiving, same-sex couples and single women. It seems, however, that surrogacy is also becoming increasingly popular among men wishing to become single fathers.

Though the desire to be a parent and nurture a child is admirable, single men in Arkansas who are looking to become fathers must do more than just find a surrogate and egg donor. There are complex custody and family laws that need to be worked through with a lawyer before a father can safely call a child born via surrogacy his.

While most egg donors and surrogates are unlikely to try to claim custody of a child later on, it is possible if their parental rights are not surrendered. Since it is so crucial for single fathers to get these legal matters done quickly and correctly, many turn to family law lawyers to help them. After all, failing to do it correctly could cost the father his custody over his children in a worst-case scenario.

Of course, it goes without saying that surrogacy requires considerable forethought: Being a parent can be a lot of work and money, even more so without a partner.

Source: The Pioneer Press, “Via surrogacy, some men opt to become single dads,” David Crary, Aug. 31, 2013