By Robin von Halle

You’ve decided to be a surrogate. One of the parent candidates your agency presents to you is a 42-year-old single who doesn’t currently have a partner but is anxious that the biological clock ticking.  With your help, he will be a single father.

It’s not so unusual as it might sound. The New York Times says 2 million households in the U.S. are currently managed by single fathers, up from 1.8 million in 2000 and 1.2 million is 1990.

Nor is it necessarily just a gay-man phenomenon. Even recent adoption statistics show men 18 to 44 are the most likely to adopt. The number of single, straight men looking to have a biological child is steadily increasing.

The trend is more evident than ever before thanks to celebrity involvement. Last month, Latino singer Ricky Martin became a father of twins through surrogacy; he said he never intended to have a partner as a co-parent.

We at ARR don’t have one definition for a family. We currently have a single father awaiting the birth of his twins through surrogacy, and we’ve seen single men be the most loving, caring and attentive parents anyone could hope for. Some agencies, unfortunately, relegate single men to the bottom of the surrogate waiting list just for being a man who wants children. And many surrogates won’t carry a child for a single man.

Just as egg donors shouldn’t be “paid” for desirable genetic attributes (they’re paid for their time and effort in donating), men shouldn’t be punished for wanting a child without a partner to help. They’d rather be judged on their parenting potential and their support system than their gender. The New York Times article also cites sociologists as saying their capabilities should come as no surprise: Current generations of men grew up in a society of gender equality.

So what do you think? Should single men – gay or straight – who can adequately provide for a child, be given the chance to have a family through surrogacy?