Can You Adopt As A Single Parent?

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Single parent families come in all shapes and sizes. As well as separated co-parents, widows and widowers and solo parents, there are also solo adopters. But what are the considerations if you’re thinking about adopting on your own?

adoptive single mother and children on the beach
Photo by dylan nolte on Unsplash

What are the different types of single parent families?

Can you adopt as a single parent?

Laws and regulations differ from country to country but in many places it is possible to adopt as a single parent. In the UK, Ireland, USA and Australia there are avenues available for single people considering adoption. 

Solo Adoption in the United Kingdom

In the UK, single parents have the legal right to adopt. According to the Adoption and Children Act 2002, an adoption agency cannot refuse an application from a single person on the grounds that they are unmarried or not in a civil partnership. However, the process of adoption in the UK is thorough and rigorous, and the adoption agency will assess the prospective parent's ability to provide a loving and stable home for the child. 

Read our 20 Questions with Solo Adopter Leon

Solo Adoption in Ireland

In Ireland, the ability for single individuals to adopt is subject to specific regulations. According to the Adoption Acts 2010, sole applicants, including single individuals, can adopt if the Adoption Authority of Ireland is satisfied that "in the particular circumstances the adoption is desirable and in the best interests of the child". Prospective adoptive parents must be residents of the state and must be over 21 years of age. The domestic adoption process in Ireland involves different types of adoption, including step-parent adoption, extended family adoption, domestic infant adoption, and long-term foster care adoption. 

Solo Adoption in the United States

Single individuals in the United States can adopt. There are no explicit laws in the United States that ban adoption by singles, and marital status has not been a sufficient reason to prevent a single person from adopting. Many single people have successfully adopted children, and there are numerous adoption options available for single individuals in the US. The adoption process for single parents is similar to that for couples, and there are adoption professionals who are open to working with single adoptive parents and are supportive of their unique journey. It's important for single parents to have a strong support system in place, as all parents need support, and this is especially critical for single parents.

Solo Adoption in Australia

In Australia, the ability for single individuals to adopt varies by jurisdiction. Since April 2018, most Australian jurisdictions legally allow single people to adopt children, except in Victoria, South Australia, and the Northern Territory. Each territory has its own regulations and rules, so it is important to investigate the specific regulations in the area where you are interested in adopting.

Connect with other Solo Adopters

A great place to start if you’re considering solo adoption is to connect with others in the same situation as you. On the Frolo App you’ll find others looking to adopt or who have been through the process already. Check out the solo parents group chat on the app.

Resources for Single Parents Interested in Adoption

There are numerous resources available to support single parents who are interested in adoption. These resources can provide guidance, information, and support throughout the adoption process.

  • Adoption Agencies: There are many adoption agencies in both the UK and the US that work with single parents. These agencies can provide information about the adoption process, help with the necessary paperwork, and connect prospective parents with children who are available for adoption.
  • Support Groups: There are support groups and online communities specifically for single parents who are interested in adoption. These groups can provide a valuable source of support, advice, and encouragement from others who have gone through the same experience. Frolo is a great place to start.
  • Legal and Financial Assistance: Single parents may be eligible for legal and financial assistance to help with the costs of adoption. There are also tax credits and other financial incentives available to help offset the expenses of adoption.
  • Counselling and Therapy: It's important for single parents to take care of their own emotional well-being throughout the adoption process. Counselling and therapy can provide a safe space to explore any fears, concerns, or doubts about adoption, and can help single parents prepare for the challenges of raising a child on their own. Check out our post on therapy for single parents.  

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