In the past, one of the many myths surrounding adoption is that you cannot adopt if you are single. Now, hundreds of children in the United Kingdom are living with single men and women who have chosen to become parents and who have been given the opportunity to provide a loving home for a child. Studies have shown that children raised in single adoptive parent families do just as well as children adopted by couples do. We have had many successful single parent adoptions over the years and we have a very busy and lively group of single adopters who meet up on a regular basis and any one of whom would be happy to speak to
Here are some things to consider when embarking on your adoption journey as a single parent:
Traditional view of parenting
There is nothing unusual about single parenting – around 25% of households in the UK with dependent children are headed by a single parent. Many people plan to have children but as the years pass by they may not find the right partner. Others may be happily single and not looking for a partner. The desire to build a family, to love, nurture and care for a child is not limited to couples, and nowadays the diversity of family life is recognised and accepted.
All parents need support, and for single parents, having a strong support system is even more critical. Think about your family and friends and consider who would be able and willing to help you and provide some relief from the constant role of a parent. For example, who could you trust to come over and help out when you or your child is sick, provide childcare assistance, pick up your child from school if you unexpectedly can’t, or even serve as your child’s guardian if needed? Even though you are a single parent, when armed with a solid support system, you won’t be raising your child alone.
Work and Career
As a single parent, you’ll likely be working in conjunction with raising your child. Consider your current work schedule as well as your future career goals. Does your employer offer a healthy work-life balance? What about health and/or adoption benefits? As a working single parent, think about how you will handle childcare while you’re at work, after-school care, medical care and emergencies, job-related travel, your child’s sporting events and activities, and other life events. Be sure you have a thorough plan in place for after you bring your child home and a general idea of what you’ll do as your child gets older.
As a single parent, having sole financial responsibility for a child can feel daunting. Although you don’t need to be wealthy to adopt, you will need to be financially stable and able to support yourself and your child or children. Some financial support may be available, depending on the child or children you adopt and your personal circumstances, but to avoid unnecessary stress, consider carefully how you will make ends meet in the short and long term, and whether you need / are able to build up savings in advance.
These issues may seem overwhelming, but the good news is that many single parents have had successful adoptions and gone on to raise totally healthy and happy children. It may be hard work, but most will agree that the difficulties that come along with raising a child as a single parent are far outweighed by the dream come true of welcoming a child into your home and the simple joy of being a parent.
If you would like to find out more about adopting through Nugent Adoption, come along to our next Adoption: All the Info! evening on Thursday 31 January, 4.00pm – 7.00pm, at Nugent Adoption, Chain Lane, St Helens, WA11 9RA. Alternatively, you can join our Ask Steve sessions, a Facebook live Q&A on the first Tuesday of each month, starting on Tuesday 5 February between 6.00pm and 7.30pm, when you can ask our Adoption Manager, and Nugent’s Head of Family, Steve Hargrave any queries you may have about adoption.