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In recent years adoption has become a much more popular way to create a family. As stigmas have begun to break down, single parent adoption has become increasingly more common. Changes in the law since the 60s have legalized single parent adoption in all 50 states. While there are significantly less restrictions and stigmatizations, there is still one aspect of single parent adoption that people are not talking about: single man adoption. While the traditional family nucleus is becoming increasingly more accepting, single men still have a harder time with the adoption process. In 2017, married couples represented 68 percent of adoptions, single mothers represented 26 percent, and single men represented three percent. This low number highlights some of the direct and indirect problems single men confront in the adoption process.

In general, for single parent adoptions there are a few things that are scrutinized more carefully before the adoption can take place. Personal finance, work schedules, medical and life insurance, and plans about who will help you with childcare are all essential for single parents wishing to adopt. Since there will only be one person sharing in this responsibility, there has to be an even more detailed plan about how to provide for your adopted child both immediate and long-term. As a single parent, it is important to have a network in order to ensure that your child can be taken care of in the event of an emergency. While it may feel like agencies are scrutinizing your movements, they are just trying to ensure the well-being of you and your future child.

However, single men often have some implicit stigmatization when they try to go through the adoption process. Men are often scrutinized for their reasons to adopt especially in a society where traditional gender norms are prevalent. These ideals portray the idea that men are not supposed to be the nurturers, and therefore, they are sometimes met with some suspicion when going through the adoption process.

Single men face certain obstacles both in domestic and international adoptions. For one, certain countries will not allow single men to adopt, so it is important to do your research before choosing which country to adopt a child from. Domestically, there are also many implicit biases that all single parents, but particularly single men, must deal with. For instance, many infants and children with no additional mental health or health needs are generally placed in two-parent homes. This means that single parents must also be incredibly patient and ready in the event that they need to help their child through some additional needs. For single men especially, this can be daunting. Like all new parents, many are unsure of their parental abilities and society’s deeply ingrained ideas about the role of men does not help these insecurities.  Despite this, stereotypes are beginning to break down and this stigmatization is gradually becoming less prominent.

While single parent adoption is becoming much more prevalent in society, there is still a long road for acceptance, particularly for single men wishing to adopt. Single parents must be ready for additional scrutiny about work and home life since they have no one else to share in the responsibility of raising a child. For men, there are additional obstacles that they must face as a result of societal expectations about gender roles and gender stereotypes.

Adoption Choices of Kansas and Missouri wants you to know that we are open to single parent adoption. We have far fewer restrictions than a traditional adoption agency. We serve families all over the United States and only require you to be 25 years of age or older. We have no religious belief requirements. We fully support both single parent adoption and gay and lesbian adoption, and families with other biological and/or adopted children are welcome to apply.

References:

Can I adopt as a single parent? (2019). Retrieved April 28, 2019, from https://adoption.org/can-adopt-single-parent.

Is adoption for a single man possible? (2019). Retrieved April 28, 2019, from https://adoptionnetwork.com/is-adoption-for-a-single-man-possible.

Single parent adoption. (2019). Retrieved April 28, 2019, from https://www.lifelongadoptions.com/adoption-process/single-parent-adoption.

Julianna McKenna is a college student at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana double majoring in English Writing and Psychology. She is passionate about adoption and foster care and is considering a career in adoption law or counseling. In January 2019, Julianna became an intern for Adoption Choices of Kansas, Inc. She is incredibly dedicated to promoting children’s rights and is excited to research and advocate for children.