Adopting as a single parent is quite possible and easier than you may think. According to research conducted in 2000, 33% of children adopted from Foster Care were by a single parent. So, it is not surprising that many singles will investigate the possibility of international adoption as well. Across the US, the number of single parent placements continues to increase. Other adoption research has proven to be encouraging for single, adoptive parents. You, overall, are independent, emotionally mature, and have a high capacity for frustration – all excellent and necessary qualities for an adoptive parent! So, how do you begin the process of adopting as a single parent?
First, carefully choose an adoption agency and country from which to adopt who facilitates single parent adoptions. Keep in mind, regardless of whether you are single or married, there are many other factors which will control the country you choose. MLJ Adoptions is pleased to be able to provide several countries from which you can adopt: Bulgaria, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, and Samoa. Honduras and Mexico are available to those wishing to adopt an older child (5+). One of the goals of MLJ Adoptions is to personally navigate you through the entire process from choosing the right country to build your family, completing the home study, providing pre-adoption education, and even financial resource guidance.
Prepare yourself for the demands of single parenting. All parents prepare to the best of their ability as every child is unique and requires unconditional love and grace. Talk to adoptive parents who have already walked this journey and read books written to help you with the unique challenges of parenting your adoptive child. Adoption education is vital to being as prepared as possible. Take advantage of the “Empowered to Connect” simulcast with Dr. Karyn Purvis at the MLJ office on April 10-11, 2015. You will gain tools which will assist you in building the bonds of trust and affection that your child desperately needs.
Build a support system for yourself during the adoption process and after the completion of your adoption. Surround yourself with like-minded family and friends who have compassion for the orphan. The journey can get lengthy, and at times you will need encouragement. Regarding funding, it is much easier to ask for donations on behalf of someone else rather than yourself. Therefore, search for a “fund raising coordinator” to promote your fund raising events. Use every opportunity available to assist you in building your family, but keep in mind that every family cannot utilize every resource, whether married or single. Attend an “Affording Adoption” seminar if you are in need of proven ideas to raise money for your adoption. For seminar information and to register on-line, go to “Events” at www.MLJadoptions.com.
After your child/children come home, the journey of learning how to live life together begins. Use your support system for encouragement and assistance when you encounter new situations or just get plain tired. Add to your circle of friends other adoptive families who are similar to you. As you cultivate these friendships, your child will see others who are just like him/her. Adoption support groups will be an avenue in which to build these friendships. You should be able to ask your adoption service provider for support group options. Your local church may even host a support group.
Lastly, keep in mind, every adoption journey is just that … a journey which demands commitment and sacrifice. “BIG” goals in life require “BIG” effort and cost. Adoption is no different, but the returns are even “BIGGER.” Who can put a value on the life of a child? Step out of your comfort zone, and let life begin for a child in need of a forever, loving family!