Adoptions are changing as the world around us becomes more tolerant, diverse, and dynamic. People are starting to realize that a mother, father, and child isn't the only working definition of a family. Consequently, single parents are much more likely to be approved for adoption than in years past.
A single parent of an adopted child may face different issues than a father/mother couple starting their defined nuclear family. In this article, we will take a look at some of the aspects a single person might encounter on their journey to successful adoption of a child.
Family and Friends
When a single person decides to adopt, they often find themselves facing questions and criticism by those closest to them. If an elderly family member has never experienced a single-parent situation, announcing your good news can be negatively received. The same goes for a close friend who has been through a divorce and is struggling now as a single parent. They don't want you to face the same financial and logistical frustrations they deal with daily. Both of these situations are valid, but it doesn't mean it is or will be your parenting experience.
Your Journey is Your Own
You have chosen to start your family with just you and your child. You've done the homework, you've educated yourself on the financial burdens, and you've worked out how to navigate a job while being a single parent. These are hurdles a couple only has to face if they separate or divorce. Your experience is already vastly different from theirs.
One of the most important things you can do is to find support in other single parents. There will be some who are in a similar position to you, waiting to adopt. Others will have already adopted and will have valuable information to help and support you. Knowing there are other people out there going through the same conversations, sleepless nights, anticipation, and excitement will go a long way towards boosting your confidence and keeping your adoption goals forefront in your mind.
Keep Your Goal in Mind
The adoption process is almost always long and has many hoops to jump through. It will be worth it in the end. If you are slowed by a birthmother who decides the fit isn't right, do not blame yourself or question your parenting skills. Keep your focus and seek that support you found in other single parents.
Work with an adoption agency that focuses on your stability and strengths as a parent, not as a single individual. Remember, adoption is an arduous process. Also keep in mind that there are foster children seeking a family. If adoption does not fit with your goals, fostering a child may be the exact situation that works best for you.
Every parent is different and has value to a child. Becoming a single parent to an adopted child is brave, rewarding, and challenging. Seek support in those who will help and guide you in your parenting journey.