Have you always wanted to be a dad? Perhaps you are approaching a particular age, you are single, and you hear or feel a sort of biological clock ticking? Having children to you might be more important than having a relationship. You can do it alone!
While stereotypes do exist and many agencies and systems question a man’s ability and their intentions of why they would want to be a single father, more and more, single men are making the decision to adopt.
The following steps are designed to help you, as a single man, on your adoption journey. They include:
- Do Your Homework: adoption is already a big decision to make, but as a single man, there are a few other things you have to consider in order to make an informed decision that will change your own and another’s life. There are difficulties involved in becoming a single adoptive father based on your marital status as well as your sex. It is true that single men adopting children is swiftly becoming more and more widely accepted, but there is still a long way to go. To ensure that you know what you’re up against and what you’re getting into, consider the following:
- Always think about your age, your job, and your personal capacity to actually raise an infant. In some cases, choosing an older child, a child with disabilities, or a teenager may be more suitable.
- Look Up the Requirements and Meet Them: each state has certain requirements all prospective adoptive parents must meet before they can even begin the adoption process. As adoptions are handled by both public and private agencies, these requirements may vary. However, there are some solid rules you must meet in order to proceed. These include:
- Proper Age: If you fall into the 25-50 range, you are likely to be eligible to adopt. Though age requirements are rather flexible, you have a better chance if you fall within the specified range.
- You may already have children of your own, this can be your first child, or one of many children to come.
- Though there are no predetermined income levels, you must make enough to where you can feasibly and comfortably support a child.
- Your sexual orientation, physical state (disabled, etc), and marital status may not stand in the way of adoption, but some agencies may have rules concerning one or more of these criteria.
- Consider the Cost: again, adoption can be highly expensive, making it imperative that you consider the cost before you begin the process. Especially as a single parent, you must be sure you can support your child on your single income even if you plan to get married or share expenses with a family member. You should also consider the fact that the gender, race, and age of the child or children will dramatically influence the cost of the adoption. Teens and children with disabilities are often less costly due to the heightened cost of care, while healthy infants are the most expensive. The cost to pursue children of color may vary as well.
- Choose an Adoption Professional: whether you choose an agency, an adoption lawyer, private adoption options, or another route, choosing an adoption professional acts as the unofficial start of your adoption process. There are many legal requirements to meet before you are ready to truly start, and it is important to know whether or not the agency or other professional you choose supports your desire to adopt. As you choose your agency or professional, also ask about costs, fees, issues, obstacles, and other concerns that may arise.
Of course, your adoption obstacles don’t stop here. Once you have begun your adoption journey, you may have to face questions from family members and friends, difficulties finding a birth mother (if you want to adopt an infant), and competition from other adoptive parent hopefuls. Overall, the take home message is that adoption certainly is possible for single men. Remember to do proper research so that you know what you’re up against, and have the tools to overcome any obstacles, prejudices, and other negativity.