Today, a growing number of single people are choosing to adopt.
Research shows children adopted into single parent households adjust to their new family situation just as well as those in two-parent households. Plus, a single parent who completes an adoption is statistically more likely to feel positive about the process and be happy with their decision.
Who Is Most Likely to Become a Single Adoptive Parent?
Many single adoptive parents share certain characteristics:
· Women are more likely than men to adopt and more likely to adopt kids with special needs
· Most single adoptive parents have a strong support network of family and friends to help them
· Single adoptive parents are motivated by the same reasons to pursue parenthood as couples
It might seem adopting as a single parent would be challenging, and it can be. However, it happens thousands of times every year. In fact, about one third of all U.S. adoptions happen in single parent homes. While the process can have ups and downs, it is very attainable.
Preparing to Adopt as a Single Parent
We all know nothing in life can truly, fully prepare you to be a parent. There will always be joys and wonders you've never experienced and challenges you never imagined. When you feel called to adopt, however, there are steps you can take to be "as ready as can be."
Let's look at some of them:
1. Think About Your Current Support Network
Just because you aren't in a relationship, it doesn't mean you're alone. Think about your family and closest friends. How strong are your roots? Who could you count on to run out for a bottle of formula or watch your child for a few hours in an emergency? Every parent strives to be as capable as possible, but it takes a village. How big is yours?
2. Reach Out Within Your Community
Parenting is easier when you can share the journey with others who understand. Even if you don't have any "mom friends" right now, you can still surround yourself with like-minded
people. Adoption and parenting support groups are available in most large towns and cities. Sit in on a group early on so you can be sure it's a positive and encouraging atmosphere.
3. Make a Financial Plan
Financial health is one area adoption agencies are sure to ask about. The more you plan in advance, the easier it is to show them you have a strong vision for stability. A household budget is a great start. Pay down minor debts and start saving where you can. Also consider how parenthood might change your work-life balance and what career-related steps you want to take in the next year.
4. Explore Local Adoption Agencies
Finding a compatible local adoption agency is a must. Some agencies won't accept single adoptive parents. Others may say the right things, but fail to invest the time and resources to move you forward towards your goals. Check in with as many local agencies as possible and ask plenty of questions. If you don't feel completely satisfied with how an agency treats you, listen to your instincts.
Discuss Your Goals with an Adoption Lawyer as Soon as You Can
An adoption attorney who understands your needs can be one of your strongest allies throughout the process. Jennifer Fairfax knows that at the end of the winding road of adoption is one of the most rewarding experiences you can hope for: Being a parent and bringing a child into a loving "forever home." To find out more from an adoption law expert who cares, contact us today.