WIBU to seriously consider adopting as a single parent?(35 Posts)
I'm almost 30, have wanted children for as long as I can remember. When I was at school I remember we had to imagine the family we would want and even then I wrote that I would adopt children and be a single parent.
I have never had a serious relationship, I'm just not that interested. I wouldn't rule it out if the right person came along of course but if the right person came along it shouldn't matter if I already had children.
I work with children and teenagers with SN and understand there are children with SN who need families. I thought a lot about fostering and would still consider it but I really would like to have my "own" children.
Am I being completely naive? Would there be a problem in that I haven't tried to have biological children so don't know whether or not I can? I heard it doesn't matter if you are single and adopting but surely the LAs prefer couples?
I think there is so much I could give to children who need extra care due to SN and/or issues they will have through being removed from their families and going through the system... but maybe they deserve better than a single woman who isn't exactly rich. It will be a struggle just to get to a place where I have an appropriate home and spare room but I'm confident I can do it hopefully within the next year.
I have no experience or advice but want to wish you luck. You sound like you'd be a great mum
Anyone can apply to adopt. Regardless of martial status.
It'll probably be loads of problems but don't let that stop you, you'll work through one problem after another. I've read in a paper that in some cases single mums-to-be go to fertility clinics in Denmark, that's another option I suppose, and other mums-to-be adopt somewhat older children from e.g. China (as it were back when I read that article).
One of my best friends has just adopted (DC placed about 6 months ago) as a single parent, for similar reasons to you. She's finding it hard as she gets very little time "to herself" and doesn't have a coparent to discuss difficult decisions with. But she loves her DC and they love her, and from an outsiders perspective at least, they seem to have settled well.
Family friend of ours adopted as a single parent who like you had never been in a serious relationship and tried for her own. She's very happy so go for it!
Not at all unreasonable, it's perfectly possible, I've done it and it was the best decision I've ever made. There's loads of really useful information and advice on the adoption boards including a number of single adopters.
It's definitely not easy, but don't let that put you off.
My best friend adopted a daughter aged six, who is now 13. She was (is) single, not particularly interested in a relationship and could definitely have children of her own.
The process was thorough and intense but they are both happy and settled.
Her main problem was lack of additional support. She's a high earner and her daughter wants for nothing, both materially and in emotional investment. But juggling a career and raising a child alone has been difficult to say the least.
However, I know she wouldn't change it for the world.
Go for it. You sound like you'd be a great mother.
I'm an adopter and it is the best thing I ever did. I have a partner and you really do need a strong support network. There are fewer and fewer children being placed for adoption at the moment, so with a comparatively large pool of adopters to choose from, I have heard that single adopters get passed over in favour of two parent families. Also, and I'm sure you've heard this, because of the small numbers of children, many agencies will only accept adopters who want to parent children with SN, older children, siblings or children from certain ethnic backgrounds.
The forums on Adoption UK are really interesting and give you a flavour of what each stage is like, there are boards for prospective adopters as well as new and experienced adopters.
Try the adoption boards here (under Becoming a Parent) or the Adoption UK site/message boards. (NB don't get too scared by the AUK boards, as after placement people tend to post more when needing help, others just wander off into the sunset).
Some children need a single adopter as maybe they have had bad experiences with one gender, or would be too prone to 'split' a couple.
I know two single women who have successfully adopted. One adopted a baby (1 year old with medical issues), and one adopted an 8 year old boy when she was in her 40s. Both had a lot of experience dealing with children prior to the adoptions and the woman adopting the 8 year old in particular has had to be "firm" with him . But it all seems to be working out fine. I couldn't do it though.
I think it sounds like you know what you're doing.
DH and I are approved adopters, and I've worked in 'the system'. I know two women around your age who have adopted a child as a single parent. The needs of the children meant that both of them ended up having to give up work to be full time carers. In both cases, the level of need wasn't evident until after the child was placed.
Some of these points have been made by pp, but I'd imagine the SW dept would want you to demonstrate:
- that you're 'stable' in your circumstances. You have a permanent home, stable income.
- that you've considered how to manage things if you meet a potential partner in the future / want to date.
- that you have excellent, practical support. Not just good friends to talk to, but people who will come round and help when you're overwhelmed; someone who could be there with DC if you needed to be taken to the hospital in the middle of the night, for example.
- that you've considered the possible impact on your mental health, stress levels, social life etc of becoming a single parent, and that you've got the skills and resources to be resilient within that.
I'd say don't underestimate the level of scrutiny you'll be under, and the invasiveness of an adoption assessment. But adoption is a beautiful thing to do if you have the commitment you need for it. Good luck!
Do you have strong, local family or friends who are supportive? Because I think one parent/one child is great but can be hard on the parent and the child. No time off, if you see what I mean. For either of you.
I think it's a wonderful idea. There are so many children who need and deserve a loving parent and a good home. As an adopted child myself, I'm always happy to see people considering adoption.
If you haven't already, one thing I think I might suggest (for any would-be parents really but especially for a prospective single parent) is to take a look around you and see what type of a support system you may (or may not) have. Would you be depending on grandparents/extended family for childcare or 'breaks' from parenting? What is the availability of paid childcare where you live? Do you have a realistic idea of the time for yourself that you give up when you have a child? I'm only saying this as a friend of mine was a bit overwhelmed and surprised at the lack of options when she became a single parent.
Go for it. We adopted as a couple but we have several friends who adopted as single parents and they still love it 16 years later.
As with any child it's a challenging experience and adoption brings its own issues to the table, but we wouldn't go back and change anything, it was the right decision for us.
Someone in my family is approved as a single adopter and just waiting for a match. She is being considered mainly to be matched with a younger child without known issues as it's intended she can go back to work after a year. This greatly reduces her potential matches but many kids in the system wouldn't cope with childcare.
I think you would be amazing especially given your work . Best of
Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.
I disagree. The people I know who have adopted do regard their children as their own.
What MrsWooster said.
Not your own? How hateful.
lovelearning do you want to explain that comment, or are you OK with people thinking you are horrible and spiteful?
Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.
lovelearning Rubbish. My DDs are definitely 'my own'. They may have had a family before, they may partially be of that family, but they are definitely 'ours' too.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.