Questions to ask yourself before starting the process of single parent adoption
- Are you willing to make the cross-cultural connections that might be necessary to help your child flourish? This is especially important to consider if you're adopting international or if you're adopting outside your race or ethnic group.
- Are you eligible for childcare support or assistance? As a single parent you're not going to be able to stay home indefinitely with your new child unless you're independently wealthy. You need to find out ahead of time if you're eligible for any type of government childcare support. If you're not, you need to be aware of the out-of-pocket costs of childcare.
- Are you willing to give up the single social scene you may be enjoying? With a child, you will have less sleep and less money and your other single friends might not be too interested in having a child around all the time when they get together with you.
- Do you have a guardian? You need to make sure your child is looked after in case of your death and disability. Since you don't have a partner to fall back on, you need to make sure someone is there to look after your child if necessary.
- Do you have disability insurance? As a single parent, you will be the sole source of income. You need to make sure there's still some money coming into the household if you become disabled.
- Are you prepared for a potentially challenging adjustment period after adoption?
Where to Start
If you're single and have decided you want to adopt, you should begin by exploring resources available to help you build your family. Begin collecting information from social service industries. If there are specific adoption programs that interest you, begin to collect details about those programs.
Contact parent groups for adoptive families and adoptive families to find out more information about the process and their good and bad experiences. You'll be surprised at what you can learn from these groups. Plus the support these groups can provide over the years of the adoption process and in raising your child can be invaluable.
The United States has a special committee for single adoptive parents. It's called the Committee for Single Adoptive Parents. A reasonable membership fee will allow you access to agencies accepting applications from single parents as well as other information.