Years ago, if a single person wanted to adopt a baby, they would usually be turned down or even legally prohibited from proceeding with the adoption process. Thankfully, the landscape of adoption has changed significantly over the last fifty years, and adoption as a single parent to become far more common and socially accepted.
We know that prospective adoptive parents do not take the decision to adopt lightly, and this is especially true for single parents. If you are a single person considering adoption, here are some answers to your questions and a few considerations you should keep in mind.
Is it possible to adopt as a single parent?
If you are considering adoption but do not have a partner, you may be asking yourself this fundamental question. The great news is that you absolutely can adopt as a single parent. Many adoption professionals will work with you no matter what your marital status is. At Angel Adoption we have helped many single parents achieve their dream of starting a family, which is something we are very proud of!
What does the adoption process look like for a single parent?
The adoption process for single parents is basically the same as it would be for couples. To start, you will want to find an adoption professional who is open to working with a single adoptive parent and will be supportive of your unique journey. After you find the adoption professional that feels right, you will submit an application, complete the home study, meet all legal requirements of your particular state, get connected with a birthmother, and finalize the adoption.
Something to keep in mind is that as a single parent, you will most likely have to bear the costs of adoption on your own. While considering the costs of adoption can be overwhelming, you should know there are options for financial assistance including loans, grants, or employer provided adoption benefits.
Have a support system in place.
As a single parent, having a robust support system is the most important thing you can do for yourself. Of course you will need assistance with childcare, but beyond that you will need emotional support as you embark on the life changing journey of parenthood.
Having a support system in place is particularly important in situations when you are sick, have an emergency, or just need a helping hand as life happens. As you consider the adoption process, think of the friends and family who could be part of your support network. A critical aspect of this is to consider who could act as your child’s guardian if needed.
There is no doubt you will face challenges, as any parent would, so having people in your life will help you successfully overcome any obstacles you may face. For single adoptive parents, the wise, old proverb of “It takes a village.” rings even more true: with a solid support system, you may be a single parent, but you won’t be raising your child alone.
Be prepared to face unwelcome comments.
An unfortunate reality that many single adoptive parents face is judgment and negative comments from others. Adopting as a single parent goes against the grain of the traditional view of parenting — and there is nothing wrong with that! — but there are some people who may judge your choices can’t understand that a family does not need two parents to be happy and fulfilled.
While this is certainly a challenge that single adoptive parents face, you can take comfort in knowing their ideas of the traditional family are outdated and becoming less common. Remember you can’t help that some people are close-minded. You can only move forward with your head held high knowing you are making the best choice for you.
Consider your career & finances.
As a single parent, you will typically have only one source of income and a career that needs to be taken into consideration. Before going through the adoption process, you should sit down and determine if its feasible to financially support a child beyond the significant cost of the adoption process.
Additionally, when you are weighing the option of adoption as a single parent, you will have a work schedule and future career goals that are an important part of your life. If you do not have a career that offers a healthy work-life balance, you might need to ask yourself if you are willing to make a change that will allow you to juggle being a parent while maintaining your successful career. You will also want to determine if your employer has policies and a supportive environment in place that will allow you to take unexpected time off if a last-minute situation arises and later take a longer period of time off to spend your baby. You will also need to come up with a plan for childcare when you do return back to work.
Remember why you want to adopt.
When adopting as a single parent feels overwhelming, take a step back and remember why this path called to you in the first place: you have a dream of having a family. With this dream, you have the opportunity to provide a child with a loving home in which to grow and thrive while also experiencing the joys of parenting. There is no doubt it is going to be hard work, but it will be so worth it! Countless single parents have successfully raised happy, healthy children before you, and there is no reason to think that you wouldn’t be capable of the same amazing feat.