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Can A Single Parent Adopt

Adopting as a single parent 

Adoption is an option for singles? Yes. This article will cover everything you need to know about single-parent adoption. It includes how to overcome obstacles and what your options are.

The number of single-parent adoptions has increased steadily over the past 20 years. A successful single person would not want to have to give up their independence and take on the responsibility of raising a child. People feel a strong need to care for and share their children and are not limited to those who are married. Most people think adoption means you have to be married or have a partner to adopt. However single parent adoption has become increasingly popular over the years. 

There are many factors that have encouraged single-parent families to be accepted. The most important factor is the increasing number of single-parent families due to divorce, and unmarried mothers having and keeping their children. Adoption agencies are more open to considering unmarried couples as potential adopters because so many children live in such a home. Recent research shows that adopted children who were raised by single parents are more likely to be involved in activities with their peers and with their families as well as with their family.


Am I ready to adopt? 

Understanding what to expect of an adoption can be confusing, even more so as a single parent. If you are trying to navigate single parent adoptions here are a few signs to tell if you are truly ready. Before you begin the adoption process considering the following: 


For parents who are adopting in a single income home there will be unexpected changes to your finances. Before adopting you will want to make sure you have a plan for contingencies that may show up. Creating a financial plan will show the adoption agency you have the financial means to provide for the child. Another financial roadblock of adopting a child is your work schedule. You may want to consider taking a few weeks off of work when first bringing your child home. Before your adoption process is complete, you will want to speak with your employer about taking time off to get settled in with your new bundle of joy! When speaking to your employer about this time off make sure to bring up employer provided adoption benefits to see what your company has to offer. 

Time Management

Navigating a typical day in your life with a child is hard for any parent, especially for single parents. For a single adoptive parent the day to day life can be multiplied at times. This is where taking time off work after adoption is important. You will want to have time to bond with your child and take care of their needs. Having a support system behind you whether it’s friends or family can be so valuable. You will be able to call on your loved ones for help if you need a babysitter or help with your child. 


If you are a single parent that is adopting or wanting to adopt you will want to consider not entering the dating scene. You will want to have your relationship status as clear as possible. The agency or birth mother can get a clear picture of how your life will be like with the child. Being single and not dating will give you the chance to adjust to your new life and family dynamic with your child. Staying single and not getting into a new relationship will allow you to devote more time to your new child. 

Single Parent Adoption Requirements

When adopting domestically there are no requirements that would prevent you from adopting as a single parent. However there are a few things that may affect your eligibility as a single parent because of vary laws in certain states. 


Certain states require a minimum age to be an adoptive parent. Other states may require you to be a certain amount of years older than your adoptive child. Always be aware of local and state laws when going about the adoption processes. 

Criminal Background

Depending on your criminal record it doesn't completely mean you won't be able to adopt. It’s dependent on the severity of your crime and in accordance with state law. But no matter what any conviction will be taken into consideration during your adoption process. Any individual with a criminal background in a sex offense will not be allowed to adopt under any circumstance. 


Most states require you to be a resident in the state you are trying to adopt. However, these states may have certain exceptions like special-needs adoption. 


Obstacles to Single Parent Adoption

Although single-parent adoption is becoming more popular, the traditional view of parenting that a child requires a mother and father for healthy development remains. According to mental health experts, the best option for a child is to live with two parents who are loving and compatible. This "ideal" may not be possible for many children and there are single people who believe that this bias is unfair.

Family and friends could be the first obstacle. It is possible that they don't understand why anyone would take on the responsibility of raising a child. You may be asked if your senses have been lost. You may be able to convince them that your knowledge is valid.

Single applicants are dealt with by different agencies. Some won't even consider them. Some may not accept your request for a home study (a family assessment) while you wait to find a couple willing to adopt. You may not be able to handle the children or they might have been 12 years old when your request was made for a toddler. Birth mothers might be reluctant to adopt you if you choose independent adoption, which is a route that involves no agency involvement.

Single men are subject to even more scrutiny when they are asked about their sexuality and relationships with friends. Even though they may be qualified to be parents, they can still be rejected.

Advice for single parents who want to adopt

It is difficult to do it all alone. In preparing adoptive parents, agencies and parents stress the importance of having support from family and friends.

A potential agency will appreciate you demonstrating that you have considered the long-term implications for being an adoptive parent. If you can show them a realistic picture of your financial situation and how you intend to care for your child over the years, it will help them to see how serious you are.

You must believe in yourself as you approach agencies or other resources for adoption. You may face obstacles along the way and may be denied access to certain resources. You can make your dreams come true with determination and assertiveness. Here are a few bits of advice to help you with your adoption.

Plan for emergencies 

Always have a back up plan. Whether it's big or small, having a plan in place for emergencies is important. This will help create a stable household for you and your child. 

Support System

Beginning the journey as a single parent can be scary but having a support system can make it easier. Having a support system that you love can be great to lean and depend on when you need it. 

Choosing the right professional 

You will want to have someone guide you through the adoption process. They can provide great information and emotional support in this journey. There can also be some professionals who are more skilled in single parent adoptions. 

Be open minded

After going through the adoption process there might be negative professions or road bumps on the way. While going through the process you may want to consider a special needs adoption. Older children tend to benefit from a single parent home because they bond easier with just one person. No matter what age you adopt a child they may have some questions. It’s always best to be open and honest with them. Have a conversation with your child about how different family shapes look.