Times have changed dramatically for individuals seeking to adopt a child in the United States. Fifty years ago, if you had sought to adopt a minor child as a single parent, you would have had no success, and not necessarily because adoption agencies looked with disfavor on the idea. In some states, as recently as 25 years ago, there were laws on the books that prohibited single-parent adoptions. Over the last two decades, those limitations have evaporated. Studies now show that one in four special needs adoptions involves a single parent and that about one in 20 of all adoptions are by single men or women.
Experts say that a number of factors have contributed to the shift in thinking and practice. First, as late as the 1960s, most moms were stay-at-home parents, and the concept of daycare was still an exception to the rule. In today’s world, the stay-at-home mom is the exception to the rule and it’s socially acceptable for children to spend much of their formative years in daycare. Fifty years ago, adoption agencies worried that a single parent would either face financial challenges from staying home with the child or not be involved in the child’s upbringing.
The other change, especially with special needs adoptions, is the lessened focus on the personal finances of the parent. Many states offer subsidies or financial assistance to parents adopting special needs children, so families with a single income are better able to meet the material needs of the child.
That’s not to say that single applicants have attained parity with married applicants. Many adoption agencies still choose not to work with single parents. Others may accept your application, but give priority to couples who come into their offices.
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To set up an appointment, call us in Haddonfield at 856-429-5005 or in Woodbury at 856-845-2555. We can also be reached in Philadelphia at 215-563-2150 or by e-mail. For clients with personal injury or workers’ compensation claims, we offer a free initial consultation, and will represent you on a contingency basis, only charging attorney fees if we recover compensation for you.
Our offices are open weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Weekend and evening appointments may be arranged upon request. We will also come to your home or the hospital, if necessary.