A surge of single men, gay and straight, have recently opted for surrogacy to fulfill their paternal dreams.

The Williams Institute, a think-tank on same-sex issues at the University of California – Los Angeles, finds there were more than one million never-married men raising children in 2010. A great portion of that was due to adoption and surrogacy.

While in some states adoption by a single father is frowned upon and even outlawed if that father is homosexual, surrogacy provides a window of opportunity to thousands of potential fathers without a mate.

The process of becoming a single parent is not an easy one. Fathers have to first pick donor eggs to fertilize with their sperm. Many use a gestational carrier, who is different from the original donor, to carry and deliver the baby. This is said to decrease legal liability and further limit the personal connection between the surrogate and child for a smoother transition for the new parent.

Brian Tessier, a homosexual adoptive parent, recently started 411-4-DAD, a hotline for prospective single fathers. Here he counsels both gay and straight men on the stigmas of single male parenting from suspicion to sexism in the workplace.

Now is the time that men are redefining the idea of traditional family. While others may be in doubt, musical icons Ricky Martin and Clay Aiken are two out of thousands of happy single fathers thanks to the gift of surrogacy. Aiken told People Magazine in an 2008 year interview that “if [the child] is raised in a loving environment, that’s the most important thing.”

Do you agree with Clay Aiken?