A few decades ago, the idea of a single man adopting a child seemed strange. But today, nontraditional families are widely accepted. Society mostly agrees that what makes a healthy and happy family is centered around a stable, supportive and loving adult(s). Due to this, single parent adoption has seen an upward trend in the last 20 years.
Unfortunately, there are still a number of children in the country who need families and many people still don’t realize that single parent — specifically single dad — adoption is possible. Single men choose to adopt for a variety of reasons, and their journey through adoption is quite unique. Here’s a look at some of the ways single dad adoption differs from traditional adoption, and why we think it’s a wonderful thing.
Tips on Adopting as a Single Dad
Adopting a child is a long and hard journey, and in some ways even more so for single men. For men looking to adopt without a partner, there will be some additional obstacles considering your marital status and your sex. While it is true that single dad adoption has become more popular and accepted in recent years, there’s still quite a ways to go. This means having to do a lot of research. Look into adoption agencies, specific requirements you must meet, and state laws.
Understand the financial aspect of adoption. Not only is raising a child expensive, but also the process of adoption can break the bank. It is important to be aware of your finances, especially because you may be more heavily scrutinized as a single dad.
Most importantly, you want to find an adoption caseworker and agency that will be supportive and helpful to you. Finding a caseworker that will respect your decision is key to making this process go smoother. Adoption Choices of Nevada is supportive of single men looking to adopt.
Challenges of Adopting as a Single Dad
While acceptance of single parenting has grown in recent years, the expectation that a child needs both a mother and father still exists. Psychologists suggest that the ideal household for a child consists of two parents. But many children already do not live in an “ideal” household, making this stereotype unfair to single parents.
One of the first challenges you may face as a single man looking to adopt is family acceptance. Your desire to adopt may seem strange to your family and friends. They may question whether you know what you’re getting into, if it’s the right decision, and if you are 100% sure. It may take a little time to understand your decision, but when they do they will be essential to helping you along the way to parenthood.
In the United States, parental leave is not the most inclusive. Many companies only allow maternity leave up to 6-8 weeks, but very few companies offer true paternity leave. Public opinion tends to side with expanding parental leave for both mothers and fathers, but businesses have not quite caught up. As a single dad, you will have to look into how you will care for a new baby and what your job offers pertaining to parental leave, and potentially having to take a leave of absence (LOA) if your company is not supportive.
Single men face tougher scrutiny when looking to adopt. Some agencies may deny you the opportunity to adopt, others may put your application on the back burner. You may be asked intimate questions pertaining to your sexuality and your motives. It’s upsetting that single men face this when looking to become parents, which is why it is especially important that when going through your adoption process you remain focused and hopeful.
Advice for Single Dad Adoption
Being a parent is not easy, especially as a single parent. If you are considering single parent adoption, you are going to want to ensure that you have a strong support system. Having friends and family to backup and support you will not only set you up for parenthood, but will show your potential adoption agency you are working with that you are prepared to tackle this new role alone.
As you begin this journey, be confident in yourself. While you may face some unfair discrimination, believe in yourself and your ability to handle adoption and parenthood. The adoption process is long and may seem discouraging at times. As a single man looking to adopt, it may seem even more difficult, but it’s important to remember why you’re choosing to adopt. Becoming a parent is never simple or stress free, but the reward outweighs the hardships.
Single dad adoption is amazing. Our society has seen tremendous growth in the way it accepts and welcomes nontraditional families. Similarly, it has grown by broadening its definition of what a father should be. Men have not always been seen as nurturing and in recent generations this stereotype has been challenged and somewhat disproven. Men are just as capable of being loving and supportive parents as women. We should support single men in their quest for parenthood. Adoption is for anyone who is willing to put in the work and love it takes to raise a child — single men included.
Adoption Choices of Nevada
If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Nevada. You may visit the website here or contact us by 775-825-4673 (Reno Office) or 702-474-4673 (Las Vegas Office). Our hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm PST.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Devon Thornton is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor’s in Creative Writing. She has recently moved from Orlando, FL to Clarksville, TN, and is pursuing her writing career with Adoption Choices and also writing personal essays in her free time. Devon is an avid reader and a big Harry Potter fan.
When she’s not curled up reading a book, you can find her somewhere on a hike or a camping trip. She loves her cat, Minerva, and considers herself a true animal lover. She hopes one day to publish a book of essays and to maybe meet J.K. Rowling.
“Is Adoption for a Single Man Possible?” Adoption Network, Adoption Network Law Center – Safer Than Adoption Agencies, adoptionnetwork.com/is-adoption-for-a-single-man-possible.
“Single Parent Adoption: How to Start a Family Solo.” Parents, 31 Oct. 2018, www.parents.com/parenting/adoption/facts/can-a-single-person-adopt/.