I am a single mother by choice. I had always thought about adoption as something that I wanted to do someday. And then I woke up one day an adult with a comfortable home, a great job and enough love to spare. I chose not to let my lack of a husband stand in the way of my desire to become a mom through adoption. And I do not regret this choice for a second.
Maybe you’ve thought about adoption as something you wanted to do someday too. And maybe today is your day. Here are five reasons to consider adopting as a single parent:
You don’t have to raise your child on your own.
I’m not gonna lie, a lot of people will make comments like “oh, I could never raise a child on my own.” Here’s the thing. No parent ever happens themselves into adoption. For us, it is a choice and a process and all along the way, you have the opportunity to build a strong network that will help support you and your child. I do not raise my daughter on my own. I have many, many folks who make up my village. And a few that I can call, day or night, if I need something.
The paperwork goes more quickly with just one parent.
You’ve heard about the paperwork involved with this adoption thing, right? It is crazy. Crazy. I am a responsible, type A person and it was quite a procedure to complete all of the inspections, examinations and notarizations required to even initiate my homestudy. With two parents, many of the forms need to be filled out twice. And if one parent is not so much a type A person (or not 100% sure about adoption), this can really delay the process.
Single parent homes are actually preferred for some kids.
Since I was working with a U.S. government agency, I knew the social worker couldn’t discriminate against me on the basis of marital status (this is not the case with all agencies or all countries, so a little research is in order before you begin the process). I was surprised to find that single parent homes are actually sometimes preferred for kids who have had unhealthy relationships with caregivers in the past.
Kids can’t triangulate if there’s no triangle.
Many kids who experienced early trauma have developed maladaptive social skills. The very skills that kept them alive at one point in their life can make them extremely difficult to parent. Triangulation (playing two parents against each other to get their needs met) sometimes means that mom sees one side of a child and dad sees a completely different side. I have friends whose marriages have been severely tested (some nearly to the breaking point) by kids who are still working to learn that their parents will meet their needs. The good news for single parents is that this doesn’t work for their kids at home.
Kids need families. Today.
I’ve saved the most important reason for last. Adoption is never a completely selfless act, but the fact is that there are many, many children around the world who need a family. Very likely, there are children in your town who need a family. They need to know the love and security of a forever home. And you can meet that need.
Adoption as a single parent is not for everyone, but it is for some of us. I cannot imagine my life without my daughter in it. She has brought me greater joy (and yes, greater challenge) than I have ever known. So if you’ve always thought about adoption, maybe now is the time to take that first practical step.
I did it. You can do it. Our kids are worth it.