With nearly 500,000 children awaiting adoption in the United States and countless millions around the world, agencies that specialize in adoption are looking for households anywhere that are willing to add to their family. Single parent households, although in the past weren’t traditionally included in this process, are being closely examined today so that a child in need can have a real place they can call home.
Current Rate of Adoption
One-third of all US adoptions happen in single family homes.
Just because there are more single parents being able to adopt children today than 40 years ago when the success rate was as low as 0.4% doesn’t mean that there aren’t difficulties. Almost 40% of single parents who are successful in an adoption say that they’ve had to undergo three or more previous attempts to adopt a child that were unsuccessful.
The Single Parent Profile
1. Women are more likely to adopt children as single parents than men are and are the most likely group to adopt an older child in need.
2. Most single parent applicants have emotional stability and a support network of family and friends that will help them raise an adopted child.
3. Single parent adoptions are also one of the groups that adopts the most special needs children who need families.
4. Unmarried women are more likely to pursue international adoption over domestic adoption.
5. Single women often pursue motherhood for the same reasons married women do.
Takeway: We can all agree that every child deserves a loving home where they feel safe. If a single parent can provide this home, then it makes sense to allow that person to adopt a child or even multiple children if they have the support network in place. Single parents are almost forced to take risks to fully provide and this risk-taking personality also allows this group of people to take on new family members that others might find to be too difficult, which is fantastic.
The Long Term Outlook for Adoptions
1. Research has shown that the adjustment rates of children adopted into single parent homes equates to the adjustment rates of children adopted into more traditional households.
2. Single parent households that complete an adoption are more likely to feel like the outcome of their efforts was positive.
3. Children with special needs who were adopted into single parent homes were shown to have fewer overall problems than similar children adopted by two parent homes.
4. The number of single parents interested in adopting a child has slowly continued to increase since 1973.
5. 56% of single parent households who adopt foster kids incur no adoption expenses in order to do do.
6. 89% of parents agree that even with behavioral episodes, they are not “aggravated” about their decision to adopt a child.
Takeaway: A majority of kids are happy in a single parent home. The feeling of being finally wanted and loved by someone must be an incredible experience and it should be one we all encourage more often than discourage. Certainly there will always be people who aren’t in the right place at the right time to properly care for a child as a single parent, but there are many who are and yet still don’t get the chance to adopt. We should help make sure those chances happen more often.