While the notion of a two-parent family has long been present in our society, there are many wonderful single-parent families out there that demonstrate there is no set formula for what constitutes a happy and healthy family. All families are different, and if you are a single person ready to start your own family, adoption might be the right choice for you.
Naturally, single-parent adoption is a big decision, and you probably have a lot of questions and concerns as you consider it. While the ultimate decision you make will depend on the specifics of your life, your goals, and your preferences, there are some questions you can ask yourself to determine if adopting as a single person is a right choice for your life right now.
Do I Have Enough Time to Raise a Child?
It’s certainly easy to think of all the good times that come with raising a child, but you will also need to be there for all of those late nights and hard times, too. Consider your work and school schedules, how much time you would want to spend with friends and family and your other obligations. Does adding child rearing into the mix seem possible? When it comes to having a successful family, balance is key, so you need to make sure there is room in your life for parenting and other duties.
Am I Financially Prepared?
An adoption is a serious financial commitment you will need to prepare for. Do your research and speak to adoption experts to confirm whether your financial situation is sufficient to give your child a healthy and safe life. Most adoption agencies will require that you have at least enough income to be above the federal poverty level. There are also fees that come with adoption, but these will vary by agency. Because adoption is a complex legal matter, you will need to factor in the fees for an experienced adoption attorney, too. Not having an attorney can result in mistakes during the adoption process that are costly and stressful to address.
How Strong Is My Support System?
Having a strong and close group of supporters, family, and friends who will help you no matter what is very important during the adoption process and once you are a parent. Adopting and raising a child can be stressful and demanding at times, so you will need to have people there who can help you when things get tough. Try to connect with other single parents who have also adopted as they can be a well of information, advice, and support as you go through the process yourself.
Who Will Be the Child’s Guardian?
As a single parent, you will want a guardian for your child in case something happens to you. The guardian should be someone you have known for a long period of time and trust completely.
What Agency Should I Use?
The right adoption agency will be there to help you throughout the entire process. Research the agencies that focus on the type of adoption you are considering, such as international or domestic, and decide which one is the right fit for you. You should be able to have a conversation with representatives from each agency you are considering before you make a final choice.
Single-parent adoptions are no longer uncommon or stigmatized, so if you’re single and ready to start your family, adopting a child might just be the right path for you. Consider your answers to the questions above to confirm you are ready to bring a child into your life and into your heart.