The Struggles of Adopting as a Hopeful Single Parent
Prospective adoptive parents who are single often worry that they’ll be overlooked in favor of married couples. Despite this common concern, unmarried people were responsible for roughly one-third of all U.S. foster care adoptions in 2011. Even with positive facts like these, it’s easy for a hopeful adoptive parent to get discouraged.
Challenge: Not Having a Support System
As social creatures, having a solid support system is directly related to general life success. Outside of helping us through tough times, support systems give us more friends and greater satisfaction in life.
Adoptive agencies usually perform home studies to see how you might fare as an adoptive parent. One thing they’re going to inspect is your support system.
Solution: Building Rock-Solid Relationships
Building relationships with friends, co-workers and peers isn’t an overnight process. Fortunately, however, consistently showing support to others over the long run will undoubtedly result in strong relationships. If you’re not sure where to start, joining clubs, churches and other organizations is always a good first step.
If you’ve already got enough relationships, make sure to communicate your concerns about adopting when single. True friends will show their support, giving you a sense of who you can count on.
Challenge: Financial Stressors
People get married for many reasons, including having children and financial stability.
One study from Ohio State University found that married couples tend to generate more wealth than their single counterparts. One 2005 study showed that, after a decade of marriage, single participants reported having a net worth of $11,000, which was nearly four times as small as married participants reported net worth of $43,000. Even after doubling the single participants’ net worth, $22,000 still pales in comparison to $43,000.
Although having two household income streams can improve financial stability, countless married couples still struggle with debt and overall financial management.
Solution: Cultivating Financial Stability
Every adoption agency is different. While yours might not, many agencies do consider hopeful parents’ personal finances.
Proving long-term financial stability is unarguably the best way to resolve your concerns about finances as a single parent. Even if it takes a few years, consider putting your adoption efforts on the back burner to improve your financial situation.
Before applying, make sure you have enough in savings to pay for living expenses for several months should you lose your job or get injured. Also known as an emergency fund, this account should contain enough cash to completely cover three to six months’ worth of household expenses.
Qualifying for adoption grants and loans could also help someone. In addition to making your parental prospects more attractive, financial aid could make your experience much easier. If you have already tried to apply and haven’t had much success, a New Jersey adoption attorney could help you by strengthening your existing application and helping you avoid common adoption application pitfalls.
Challenge: Workplace Woes
Parents, both adoptive and biological, often expend substantial financial resources paying for day care or babysitters. Although most working parents, especially single ones, will need to pay for child care services at least intermittently, careful planning can limit your reliance on third-party child care.
Solution: Finding a Flexible Employer That Values You
The more value you provide to employers, the better they’ll treat you in return. As long as you show your true worth in the workplace, you shouldn’t have trouble finding a flexible employer. Still, some managers or business owners won’t recognize value when they see it.
Before applying for adoption, try finding a job that offers plenty of flexibility. Holding down a job like this for several years before going through with a single parent adoption can pay off big time in the long run.
Need Help? Look No Further
Parenting isn’t supposed to be easy. As a hopeful adoptive parent, however, parenting can seem especially difficult. Whether you are just now thinking about adopting or have already had success as an adoptive parent, seeking help from a New Jersey adoption attorney can help.
If you are single and want to adopt a child, let our team at Cofsky & Zeidman help. Attorney Donald C. Cofsky has spent much of his career advocating for adoptive parents in the Garden State and across the country. In fact, Mr. Cofsky is the former president of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys, one of the country’s leading legal voices on adoption.
You can contact Cofsky & Zeidman’s main office in Haddonfield, New Jersey, by calling (856) 429-5005. If you’re closer to Woodbury, feel free to call our Woodbury office at (856) 845-2555.