A common misconception with adoption is that you must be married to adopt. However, a single person can adopt if they would like to add a child to their life. In fact, single parent adoptions made up about 28.2% of all adoptions in 2013. Adoption gives you the option to raise a child, love him/her, and give them a caring and supportive home that they simply did not have before. It’s a beautiful thing and we are always so happy to see a child with their whole life ahead of them. Single people are perfectly able to adopt if they would like; however, there are obstacles and factors to consider when a single person is looking to adopt.
Things to Consider
As a single person, it’s important to keep in mind that there are some factors you should consider before making that final move towards adoption. We recommend examining these factors yourself first, then contacting an adoption counselor with your situation to see what’s best for you.
- Home Study – The home study is a legal requirement by Maryland state law and is how an agency and the state decides whether your home is fit for raising a child. If you are single, your living habits will change slightly from that of a married couple. Make sure your home is a healthy, organized, and safe environment for a child to live in. You will need to have at least 2 bedrooms: one for you and one for your child.
- Financials – One of the most difficult factors to prove is your financial stability. Unless you have access to a large amount of cash, it can be a problem to show that you can afford a child. When you sit down with an adoption agency, it’s a good idea to show your future plans and how you plan to achieve them with numbers showing how much money you can afford to spend outside of the average bill. Find out all of the adoption fees beforehand and set aside some money for any fees or unexpected bills. It’s not uncommon to find that one single person’s job does not and could not support a parent and their child. It may be a good idea to ask your employer for a raise, promotion, or even to find a new job.
- Life Changes – Another important factor you should consider is the social impact that having a child can have on you. Many single prospective parents do not think about how a child would affect relationships with their family and friends, so it’s a good idea to let your closest friends and family know that you’re considering adoption. More importantly, this should also provide you with a support base to help you through the adoption process and when raising your child. We highly recommend that you have a strong support base.
Adopting and raising a child requires a lot of support from family and friends. Some small issues such as being late to picking your child up from school can cause a stressful living situation and should be avoided as much as possible. A strong support base can resolve many of these situations. One of the core benefits a married couple has over a single parent is having 2 parents available for the child at all times. If one parent simply can’t do something for the child, the other likely can. We recommend that single parents build close relationships with family members and close friends and ask them if they’d be willing to take on some extra responsibilities in the case that you can’t do something. Some good questions to ask before going through with an adoption could include:
- Who would help when you’re sick in bed and need to tend to your child?
- In the case of an emergency, who would be with you physically in a moment’s notice?
- Who would pick your child up if you couldn’t make it?
- Is your family member/friend kid-friendly? If you are considering interracial adoption and even international adoption, does your support system discriminate based on age or ethnicity?
Adoption is beautiful and is a great way to connect great parents with great children. As an adoption agency, we place children in homes that we believe are best for them. Adoption takes a long time (even longer for single parents) to complete and we are evaluating all prospective adoptive parents to find the best home for the children. In the end, though, it’s up to the birthparents to choose where their baby goes. Some birthparents prefer married couples, while others prefer single parents.
Here are some key points to take away:
- Are you financially stable enough to support a child and yourself?
- Is your support system stable and will they help when you need them to (including the middle of the night)?
- Would you pass the home study?
- Some birthparents prefer single parents, but some prefer married couples.
- Single parent adoption takes a noticeably longer time to complete than a couple.
- 28.2% of adoptions are done by single men and women.
- Make use of adoption counselors.
Please contact us if you have any questions about single parent adoption.