April 18 -- Michael Klevenz was an ordinary guy with an ordinary dream: He wanted to be a dad. Only problem was, he didn't have anyone to be a mom.
"I had been in a long-term relationship," Klevenz told Ann Pleshette Murphy, the parenting contributor on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America. "It just wasn't working out, so at that point, because I was getting older, I decided I still wanted children and I thought the best way to do that was through adoption."
So, still single, Klevenz took the parenting plunge and is now the proud father of Mike and Joseph, both 12 years old. They were 5 and 8 when he adopted them.
But as a heterosexual single man, he had to fight to form a family, even though the children he adopted were older and thus considered harder to place.
National statistics are not available for confidentiality reasons, but the National Adoption Center says that one-third of its adoptions are by single parents, and while most are women, the number of men adopting solo is growing.
Screenings for Singles
The screening process is the same for a single parent as for a couple. However, agencies want to know that you have not just the financial ability to adopt a child, but also a demonstrable support system of family and friends who can be there when you cannot.
"A lot of the organizations really were not interested in a single person," Klevenz said. "But at the time and even now, you're not allowed to discriminate in that regard."
Nevertheless, some single dads reported some "off the record" inquiries about their sexual orientation, and if there would be a female presence in the child's life.
Many people are not used to a single man adopting.
"People used to think that being placed with a two-parent family was the ideal, that this was the only way," says Gloria Hochman, director of communications for the National Adoption Center. "It was mother, father, boy, girl, picket fence and so forth. The image of a family has changed dramatically."