Single Men Now Meet The World Health Organization’s Infertility Criteria
Infertility was once defined as a medical condition by The World Health Organization, and there was a strict set of criteria for what defined it. Infertility used to be the inability to conceive despite 12 months of regular, unprotected intercourse. However, the definition of infertility has recently been significantly widened. The World Health Organization now considers those not in a relationship to be infertile. This includes single men.
People who are looking to adopt are given priority if they are suffering from infertility. Now, single men will have the same priority for adoption as infertile couples. However, single men will not be considered infertile under the change in criteria if they already have children from a previous relationship.
Will This Change Any Adoption Related Laws?
In some countries, commercial surrogacy isn’t allowed. For instance, the United Kingdom does not allow commercial surrogacy at all. In other countries, there are many restrictions on the process that cause commercial surrogacy services to be hard to find.
The change in the criteria for infertility may cause some governments that previously banned commercial surrogacy to consider allowing it. The changes may not always occur right away. In some countries, the government reviews the guidelines for adoption and surrogacy each year. This is the case in the United Kingdom. In areas where commercial surrogacy becomes allowed, many single men are likely to use these services.
The World Health Organization hasn’t recommended any changes in laws. However, the goal of including single men as fitting the criteria for infertility was to improve their access to surrogacy services.
How Have Experts Felt About The Change In Criteria?
Some people have felt very positively about the change that gives single men adoption priority. In fact, they said that they felt that it was important to give everyone “the right to reproduce”. Also, proponents of the change feel that being single may be thought of as a disability of sorts in some cases. Some people are single because they have been unable to form lasting relationships.
Also, there are many children who haven’t been adopted. Often times, these children find themselves stuck in the foster care system until they age out. The fact that it will be much easier for single men to adopt children will likely reduce the number of kids in the foster care system.
Children who are adopted by single men are able to bond with their adoptive father. However, children who grow up in the foster care system are often shuffled around from one home to another and are never able to fully connect with anyone.
Furthermore, single people (including single men) are likely to adopt children who are less likely to be adopted by couples. More specifically, single men tend to be more likely than couples to adopt older children, children who have disabilities, and minorities. If it is easier for single men to adopt after the change in criteria for infertility, these children will have a far greater chance of finding a family.
Furthermore, it appears that children bond just as well with adoptive fathers as they do with couples who adopt. Studies show that the adjustment time after a child is adopted by a single man is equal to the adjustment period after being adopted by a couple.
However, not all experts are in support of the change. In fact, some critics have deemed the change in guidelines “absurd”. In addition, some experts feel that the fact that single men are now given adoption priority will make it significantly more difficult for couples suffering from medical infertility to find a child to adopt.
In addition, some critics feel that declaring single men as infertile is an overreach of a global health organization. Infertility is a disability. As a result, many people feel that labeling single men as having infertility is labeling a normal phenomena as a disability.
How Many Single Men Will Benefit From The Change?
It is estimated that 25% of people looking to adopt are single, but only a small portion of these individuals are single men. It’s possible that the number of single men who are interested in adoption will remain low despite it being easier for them to adopt, but there are indications that this won’t be the case.
However, it is possible that a larger number of single men would consider adopting if the process were easier due to the change in infertility criteria. Due to the WHO’s change in criteria, it is possible that there may be more social encouragement of single men to adopt.
There also has been an increase in the number of single men looking to adopt. This increase significantly predates The World Health Organization’s change in infertility criteria. Therefore, it is possible that the number of single men who benefit from the change in infertility criteria will increase gradually over time.