Single people considering adoption should engage in careful planning and honest self-evaluation before adopting a child. They must think about the time they can dedicate to a child and whether they have a support system in place to help with their physical and emotional care. Single parents should have social, psychological, and financial resources at their disposal. This may include day-to-day support from family and friends, coping skills for stressful situations, and an emergency fund in case of unemployment or unexpected medical expenses. It is important to arrange your support system and resources prior to your child coming home.
Below are some questions for single parents to consider before making an adoption plan.
What are my options for child care?
Have I researched availability & cost?
Have I looked at a school calendar to learn the number of vacations days?
Am I counting on a family member for child care? Is this a sustainable plan?
Do I have a cushion should I face unexpected expenses or a period of unemployment?
Do I have friends or relatives who could provide financial help if necessary?
What is my relationship to my job and coworkers?
What are my expectations of myself regarding my career?
Will a child limit my choices or opportunities?
What are the demands of my job?
How much flexibility do I have regarding days off, vacation, or work from home?
Social Situation/Support System
Who will be my child’s legal guardians? Have I ask them yet?
Who can I call at 2AM in the midst of a crisis?
Who could I ask to run to the school, or home to the babysitter, in an emergency?
Am I, or will I be, involved in the caretaking of older relatives?
How accepting/supportive are my friends and relatives about my decision to adopt?
Will they welcome/accept my child?
Will they understand the many changes my child brings to my life and relationships?
If I am in an ongoing relationship, what does this person say about my plan to adopt?
Have my partner and I discussed what his/her role in my child’s life will be?
How will my relationship be changed by having a child?
If I am not in a relatiosnhip, how will adopting affect my dating life?
Will a child limit my opportunities to meet someone?
How do I imagine my child will be?
What am I looking and hoping for?
How do I think my child and I will get along?
Can I tolderate my child’s anger and rejection?
How do I imagine my child and I will spend our time together?
Can I make peace with the differences between my real child and my imagined child?
Am I hoping that my child will be my friend and companion?
When times get tough will it be enough to know I am helping a child?
How will my child and I relate to my child’s birth family?
What do I think it will be like to parent a child who has experienced trauma and loss?
Do I have solid friendships?
Do I have a sense of humor?
Can I go with the flow/changes plans at the last minute?
Can I reorganize my life to accommodate the needs of my child?
Am I flexible about the kinds of food I eat and the music I listen to?
Can I tune-in to the needs of a child?
Can I tolerate my own ambivalence or strong negative feelings?
Can I delay gratification, and find happiness in small increments of improvement?
Can I parent to my child’s emotional age vs. their chronological age?
Why do I want to be a parent?
Why do I want to do this now?
Why do I want to adopt an older child?
What do I want to give a child?
This list may seem daunting and a variety of emotions can come up because of it. Reflecting upon questions like these and finding the necessary resources are big steps in the adoption process. Remember, your life does not have to be perfect. There is no such thing as the perfect adoptive parent. All types of people adopt and are successful in their adoption. But a part of their success comes from finding the support they will need throughout the adoption and their child’s life.
Spence-Chapin brings over 100 years of experience to providing adoption and adoption-related services of the highest quality. Our mission is driven by the simple belief that every child deserves a family. We have placed over 20,000 children in loving, permanent families since 1908.
We have domestic and international adoption programs in the United States, Bulgaria, Colombia, and South Africa. We are thrilled to be one of only two American agencies approved for adoption by the South African Central Authority. We have offices located in New York and New Jersey and easily work with adoptive parents living across the United States.
We work with all types of families: married couples, unmarried couples, LGBTQ parents, single women and single men, families who are already parenting, families who are transitioning out of fertility treatments, and families of all ages, income levels, ethnicities, and religions.
Spence-Chapin focuses on educating families about who the kids in need of adoption are and preparing families to meet their needs. We guide parents with lifelong support and education through our Modern Family Center, and advocate for all types of families who want to become parents. We will share with you what we know about adoption and how you as parents can best support your child through their lifelong journey of understanding his or her unique story.