In the past, single parent adoption was often unheard of and shrouded in negativity. Many looking-to-adopt singles, who yearned to give a child a loving home, were often overlooked in favor of two-parent households.
In the last two decades, there has been a steady growth in the number of single parent adoptions. Now, many children are living with single women and men who have chosen to become parents, and who have been given an opportunity to grow their family and give love to children who need it most.
Single parent adoptions are finally being encouraged as they become more widely accepted. With so many children living in single parent families, adoption agencies have been more willing to consider unmarried men and women as prospective adopters.
WHY SINGLE PARENTS WANT TO ADOPT
Much like two-parent adoptions, single parents looking to adopt do so for many of the same reasons.
They’re ready to start a family. Single persons long to have children, too.
Whether it’s because they have no desire to marry, or haven’t yet found the right partner, being single doesn’t mean they can’t grow a family of their own. Research studies from 2016 indicate that adopted children raised by single parents fare just as well as those adopted by couples, if not better.
They’re able to support a child, emotionally and financially. Single parents are often in a great point in their lives when looking to adopt. They have a stable job, live in safe neighborhood, have a loving support system, etc. Their lifestyle is accommodating, and they want to spread happiness to a child of their own.
They want to give a child a family. There are many, many children who need a family. Very likely, there are single parents able to provide the love and security of a forever home. Every child deserves the profound love of family, and some single parents are more than ready to provide that comfort and stability.
PROS AND CONS OF SINGLE PARENT ADOPTION
It’s normal to wonder whether single parent status will affect an adopted child’s upbringing. Parenting is both rewarding and one of the toughest responsibilities to carry. Raising an adopted child alone has its pros and cons.
While single parent adoption is more common now, there are some who believe single parenting isn’t suitable for providing adoptees a secure life. Here are a few doubts single parents may face:
- The adopted child will grow up without both mother and father, therefore, rendering home life unstable.
- The single parent will be without support, both emotionally and financially.
- The adopted child will feel isolated in a new environment, for the single parent will have to work to support his or her child.
Single parents don’t have it easy, to be sure, but in some ways, they have it better. Here are some compelling reasons for allowing a single parent adoption to occur:
- A high country-wide divorce rate supports the argument that single parents can provide children with stability.
- There is single parent freedom – the child won’t be confused with conflicting, parental demands.
- For special needs and older children, single parents can offer undivided attention and fill the extreme shortage of parents.
WHAT TO EXPECT: IMPORTANT FACTORS TO CONSIDER
Single parents are held to the same standards when adopting a child and must meet the same requirements as family members of two parents.
When thinking of adopting a child as a single parent, it’s important to prepare for the process. Here are some questions to consider throughout the adoption journey.
Does this agency promote single parent adoption? There are existing adoption agencies that discourage single parent adoption and fade away when it comes time for post-adoption support. Don’t fear, there are agencies that focus on equality. They happily support adoptions to all families regardless of income level, marital status, race, or sexual orientation. Adoption can be a lengthy process, so make sure the agency is providing ongoing support and communication.
How important is a strong support system? Parenting is hard enough with two adults, much less one. There are times single parents ask themselves if they can do this alone. It’s essential to have someone there for support, whether it be a friend, family member, or other outside source. Having a strong support system can make the most obtrusive problems doable.
What does it mean to be financially stable? Money doesn’t make the person, we know that, but single parents are asked about finances more often than they’d like. It’s true single parenting is often accompanied by financial hardship, so it’s important to be able to financially support a child beyond the cost of adoption itself. When considering adoption, financial statements are examined, ensuring potential adoptive parents have considered costs such as child care, food, and clothing. That being said, the issue of personal finances does not make or break an adoption. Every child deserves a forever home and someone to love them, and agencies recognize that.
Can single men adopt? Though single parent adoption is more accepted, there are still questions regarding whether single men should adopt, due to them being seen as the less nurturing sex. Most single adoptive parents are female, based on available statistics. In 2015, it was estimated that of adoptions through foster care only 3% were single men, most often gay men. The idea of what makes a family is constantly evolving, though. More and more single men are adopting children as restrictions to fostering and adoption become less single-minded, focusing less on the would-be parent’s marital status, race, or gender and more on the specific needs of the child.
SINGLE PARENTS ARE GREAT PARENTS
Being single will not prevent the adoption of a child. Every year, single parent adoptions grow. Many single parents have had successful adoptions and gone on to raise happy and healthy children.
Single parents deserve the opportunity to raise families. If you’re ready to be a parent, Adoption Choices of Colorado will help make it happen!
Adoption Choices of Colorado
For more information on adoption please contact Adoption Choices of Colorado. We can reached via our website or phone 303-670-4401.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Patience Bramlett, a University of Southern Mississippi news editorial graduate, is a seasoned and award-winning freelance writer. She is also a passionate reader, whose only wish is to live life without fear of the unknown. Her motivation and inspiration to live her best life stems from the words of John Lennon:
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
This year, she’s joining Adoption Choices Inc. as an Editorial Intern. Fueled by her love of family, she hopes to educate those looking to grow their families through adoption.
When Patience is not exploring Colorado with her husband, she’s drinking coffee, forever figuring out how to tame her hair, growing her library, and trying to break into the publishing career.
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