If you are not married and longing to become a parent, you may find yourself wondering, “Can a single parent adopt?” The short answer to that question today is: Absolutely. It is, however, not such a crazy question to ask. If you were a single person looking to adopt a child 20 years ago, an adoption agency might have turned you away. In fact, some states even had laws preventing single parents from adopting. Over the past few decades, however, significant progress has been made, and a growing number of single parents are adopting children every day. In fact, about one-third of children in the United States live with a single, unmarried parent. The “modern” family comes in all different forms and make-ups, and there is no universal, “right” way to become a parent today. Every family is unique in how they came to be, and that’s what makes their story so special.
If you are single and looking to grow your family through adoption, you are in the right place. More than likely, you have other questions and concerns to iron out before taking the plunge into parenthood. Here, we break down some common considerations among single, prospective adoptive parents.
Studies show that children raised in single parent households are just as well-adjusted as those with two parents. Research also shows that children that were adopted fare just as well aschildren raised by their biological parents. Be strong in your choice to adopt and to raise your child alone. You must be pretty strong already, to have set out on this journey, so continue to be steadfast in your decision and do not let others get in the way of your goals to parent or to adopt.
As the famous saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.” This is true for all families, but it may be particularly important for the single parent. Before continuing in your adoption journey, you may want to first consider your network of support. Do you have close family members who can help with the sleepless early nights or babysitting? Do you have good friends, who are also parents, who can be there for you in trying times? Do you have the finances prepared for childcare, if needed, so that you can continue to work? Every parent, whether married, coupled, or single, needs to have proper support. When you are sick or stuck in a meeting, you will need someone trustworthy who can step in and care for your child. You will also need a shoulder on which to lean, for emotional support. Find your tribe, and you will feel extra prepared for this parenting journey.
Chances are, if you are a prospective single parent, you will be working to support your family. One important factor to take into consideration is your career. Do you work at a company that is accommodating and flexible for life with a child? Will you be able to take time off after the birth, to bond with your baby? Do you have a job that requires frequent travel? Do you work long hours? Are you in a stable position that will offer a solid income for many years to come? These are all important questions to ask yourself. Growing your family is also an important conversation to have with your boss and HR colleague. Having these conversations will help give you a better sense of how your work life will change once your little one comes into the picture.
Just as any prospective adoptive parent should, taking finances into consideration is an important step for single parents hoping to adopt. Adoption subsidies are available in nearly every state, but it is still important to ensure you will be able to support a child well beyond the cost of adoption itself. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it costs – on average – $233,610 to raise a child from birth to age 18. This number does not include college tuition. The U.S.D.A. has a cost calculator can help you figure out just about how much it will cost you to raise a child, depending on your income and location.
Adopting a child – as a single person or as part of a couple – is an exciting journey. You are preparing to welcome a new life into this world and care for him with everything you have. With a bit of patience, planning, and heart, you will be able to ready yourself for this life-changing experience.
If you are interested in adopting a baby in Massachusetts, please do not hesitate to reach out to Adoptions With Love. We work with and welcome hopeful parents, including single parents, across the Bay State. Our caring staff is available to chat every day of the week, at any time of day. Contact us online or call 617-964-4357.