Heterosexual partnered men’s experiences of becoming fathers through surrogacy
Increasing numbers of people are undertaking surrogacy as a means of creating a family. In heterosexual couples, surrogacy centres on a third-party female who facilitates the couple’s pregnancy, but is not the expectant father’s intimate partner. This may potentially add a level of complexity and tension to this pregnancy experience. Whilst recent healthcare policies highlight the importance of involving fathers throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and the transition to parenthood, it has been suggested that men are often side-lined in the organisation of surrogacy arrangements and participating in the pregnancy experience by the women involved; the intending mothers, and surrogates (Teman 2010:185). The limited research that exists on men’s experiences of surrogacy arrangements focuses mainly on single or gay men/couples (Norton, 2018; Smietana 2017, Riggs et al 2015). There is a dearth of literature on heterosexual partnered men’s experiences of fatherhood through surrogacy. This exploratory, qualitative study, based on an interpretivist epistemology, explores how heterosexual partnered men, who are fathers or are becoming fathers via surrogacy, experience their transition to fatherhood , their involvement in the pregnancy, how expectant fathers perceive and navigate the relationship with their surrogate, and the impact of this relationship on the father’s relationship with his intimate partner. This presentation reports the first findings, which suggest surrogacy is a complex and challenging route to fatherhood. To the authors’ knowledge, no other research has yet focused on heterosexual partnered men’s experiences of surrogacy. This research is therefore an important addition to the limited empirical knowledge base.
Oral presentation at the British Sociological Association Human Reproduction Study Group Annual Conference. De Montfort University, Leicester, 12th June 2019.
Citation : Norton, W. and Weis, C. (2019) Heterosexual partnered men’s experiences of becoming fathers through surrogacy. Oral presentation at the British Sociological Association Human Reproduction Study Group Annual Conference. De Montfort University, Leicester, 12th June 2019.
Research Institute : Centre for Reproduction Research (CRR)
Peer Reviewed : Yes