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The Parents Via Egg Donation Organization: Let's not judge the single dads in the world -- okay?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Let's not judge the single dads in the world -- okay?

One of my most favorite outspoken friends has taken the bull by the horns once again to talk about a subject matter that frankly needs to be talked about. We have lots of single mom's having kids. In fact, we don't even look twice. We have couples - hetero couples and gay couples raising kids together, no one looks twice about that either. However, when a single dad joins the ranks of child raising there are often times whispers, and those sideways glances that ask "Why would a single dad want to have children let alone raise them?"

Here is an outstanding editorial by none other than Wendie Wilson. Former egg donor and now very successful egg donor agency owner of Gifted Journeys Egg Donation agency based out of California. Wendie has a whole lot to say about those single dads we love so much.

Wendie Wilson - Editorial:

I've worked in the field of assisted reproduction now for over 10 years. The first agency I worked with felt strongly that a single mother could use an egg donor as long as she had familial and friend support, but a single dad was, well, just wrong. I realize that popular opinion holds women to be the more nurturing of the sexes. However, I don’t necessarily feel that holds true across the board. Nor do I think it's fair or open-minded to turn away single, stable men looking to start a family based solely on their gender.

Many studies done on families with single parents or same-sex couples revealed that what made a healthy, happy child had far more to do with the amount of time spent with the child than what sex the parents were or by having two parents of the opposite sex present. Time spent, needs met and quality relationships which include love and care are far more important than the age-old idea of needing both a “mommy” and a “daddy."

There are often concessions made for the single mother; women who are viewed - quite deservedly - as strong, independent and capable. Unfortunately the same image is rarely conjured when speaking about a single father. Many egg donors, IVF clinics and egg donation agencies question the motives of a single man wanting to have a family. The perception is that a man who wishes to raise a family himself is somehow unnatural. What could be wrong with him? It’s a harsh generalization that is unjustifiably accepted in our culture. If a woman has not found a suitable life partner, it's considered understandable. But if a man remains single, he is called into question for remaining so. There are men who have suffered through the loss of their partners before they were able to share the child-rearing experience. And others who have simply not met the right woman or man. We should not sentence these men to isolation and contempt while simultaneously raising aloft women who've experienced the same vicissitudes. Modern men and women have evolved into much more complex parental roles over the last half-century, and it's high time we begin to take that evolution into account.

Many of the single fathers I've worked with, whether straight or gay, have been some of the most concerned, compassionate and understanding intended parents I've ever met. As with all of the intended parents that I've worked with, they have their own stories of heartache, loss and rejection to share with the rest of us. We so often see talk shows where girlfriends or wives ask for men to be more compassionate and nurturing. Television series and movies are constantly exploiting the time-honored trope of a man "getting in touch with his feminine side," and we love to watch the actors succeed in doing so. Yet when real, actual men in touch with their more nurturing instincts want to experience all of these wonderful moments with a child or children of their own, we look sideways at it. Perhaps it’s time for a shift in perception from the old, draconian gender-based decision process to one rooted in understanding why single men might want children of their own.

Let's stop judging single men who share the very normal, human desire for parenthood. Let's embrace all types of families along with the different ways they come into being. Let's open our eyes, hearts and minds to the possibilities. Single dads: my door is open to you.

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