Adopting a Child as a Single Parent

It is a fact of life that not all families are made up of a father, a mother and 2.4 children. Many people never meet their soulmate, get divorced prior to having children, are unable to have children or lose a partner. These si people may still yearn for a child of their own, and with New Mexico adoption laws prioritizing the needs of the child over the family status of the adoptive parent(s), parenthood is still an option.

Important Considerations

Before jumping straight into the adoption process, it is important to remember some very important points:

Children are expensive

When you adopt a child as a single parent, you will be entirely responsible for all of the costs associated with raising that child. You will need to provide them with suitable accommodations, feed and clothe them, educate them and provide them with a good quality life. You must ensure that you have the financial wherewithal to raise a child as a single parent before proceeding with adoption.

Adoption is complicated

As a single, working parent, you will need to take time off work to go through the adoption process. You must be able to attend your local adoptive parent orientation program, undertake all necessary background checks with a placement social worker, conduct 32 hours of pre-service training, and complete a home study with a social worker. The entire process can take up to 7 months, and you must be prepared to take time off work to accommodate all of the necessary steps.

Your journey to adoption will not be smooth and simple, and it is essential that you are prepared for roadblocks, including the possibility that your application to adopt will be rejected and that you will end up having spent money with no child at the end of the process.

You will need a good support system

Raising a child by yourself is difficult, and if you become ill, hospitalized or pass away, someone else will need to assume guardianship of your adopted child. You should ensure that you prepare your last will and testament [1] and appoint a guardian for your child so that if the worst were to happen, they would be cared for in the manner to which they have been accustomed by somebody they know and who loves them.

The Adoption Process

Now that you know what challenges you may face, you can begin the process. Although it is not required, you may wish to enlist the services of a law firm that is experienced in the field of family law in Santa Fe. They will guide you through the process, advocate for you as necessary, and ensure that the adoption paperwork and any estate planning documents you wish to complete are legally compliant.

Here is a closer look at the steps in one version of the adoption process. Keep in mind that there are various methods of adoptions and circumstances, but generally:

1. Attend an adoption information meeting.

The Children, Youth and Families Department of the State of New Mexico [1] will meet with you to discuss the adoption process. They will guide you through completing an application and request that you provide personal references. They will also schedule and complete a background check and take your fingerprints.

2. Pre-service training

You will need to attend parenting classes and additional training to prepare you to bring a child into your home. You should be aware that adoptive children may have experienced emotional or physical trauma and will find adjusting to a new home, parent and routine difficult. Therefore, you will need to be well equipped to support them emotionally through this adjustment.

3. Home study

The Children, Youth, and Families Department of the State of New Mexico will visit your home to check its suitability for housing a child. They will check that there is adequate space and that it is a safe and nurturing environment.

4. Medical exam

You will be asked to submit to a medical examination to ensure that you are healthy enough to care for a child. Depending on the physician’s findings, you may need to submit additional documents to substantiate your application to adopt.

5. Legal process

Once you have been matched with a child and are ready to proceed with the adoption process, you will be ready to progress through court to create a legally binding relationship between yourself and the adopted child before they can join you at home.

The process of adopting a child as a single person is long and can be arduous, but the benefits are well worth the effort. If adoption is your chosen route to having a child, contact The Law Office of Dorene A. Kuffer today to find out how we can help to make your family dreams a reality.