It’s extremely rewarding to adopt a child. But what happens when you try to adopt as a single parent? Is it even allowed and how does your marital status affect the possibilities? Let’s find out.
Can you adopt as a single parent in general?
If you’re unsure about whether adoption is legal for single parents, it’s probably because you’re used to the old laws. Back in the day, you couldn’t complete the process without an in-depth background check that included details into your personal life. And while the qualification method is still pretty much the same, there have been quite a few changes since 1960.
Today, you can adopt a domestic child from all 50 states regardless of your marital status. That means single parents in the United States are now just as eligible as married couples. However, not all countries feel the same way. So, check with your adoption agency to determine the rules.
Does divorce make a difference?
Being single is one thing, but being divorced is another. Put simply, your love life makes a big difference in whether you can adopt as a single parent. That’s why most people wait for their lives to stabilize before they even try.
You see, most adoption agencies look for stability in the home but divorce doesn’t make anyone look stable. There are, of course, special circumstances wherein a divorce doesn’t matter as much. Still, some agencies will automatically deny your application based solely on your failed marriage. After all, divorce screams “doubt and commitment issues.”
DID YOU KNOW: Adopted kids have the same legal rights as biological childen. That means custody orders will most likely include equal parenting time for both parents.
Can you adopt as a single parent with disabilities?
It’s hard to be a single parent these days. It’s even harder to be a single parent with a disability. However, state adoption agencies cannot discriminate against you because of either one. In fact, any agency that denies your application on the basis of ability can be sued.
On the other hand, your application could get denied because of certain disabilities whether you’re happily married or not. In general, that includes anything that could prevent you from providing for the needs of your child. But when you’re single and disabled, it creates a risk that can’t be mitigated by a partner.
How to start the adoption process as a single parent
Here’s what you need to do to improve your chances of a speedy adoption regardless of your marital status:
- Explore the different types of adoption. That way, you can find an arrangement that works best for your family.
- Prepare your home for a child because the agency won’t even consider your application if there’s no room or if safety appears to be an issue.
- Contact the adoption agency of your choice. Each one will be different so pay close attention to the rules.
If you have specific questions, write them down and ask the agent in charge of your case to explain.
The final verdict
Nobody says you have to have the perfect life to be a good parent. The point is that adopting a child requires commitment and stability, so you’ll have to prove it before bringing your baby home.