Single-Parent Adoption May Be the Wave of the Future for Mommy Wannabes

Mom Moment 13

AdoptionI have genuinely loved my experience as a mother. I’m single as the day is long, sometimes struggling—not just financially, but for answers, wisdom, and patience—and always learning about myself and my child at the same time. She is a joy. You know, for all of my fussing and carrying on about these tumultuous teenage years, she really is a good kid.

Now watch, when I get home, I’ll have like three calls from three different teachers, a letter from the school in the mail, and an email from an angry neighbor. But let’s just pretend that I could have that moment free and clear of any consequential shenanigans.

I love being a mommy so much, I’ve always planned to have more children. But the right way: husband, house, money in the bank. And I have always, always wanted to adopt a child. Not a baby. Maybe a 7 or 8-year-old, maybe even older than that. 

But as I climb into my 30s and still haven’t had the experience of seeing a guy drop to one knee, sans that dude who flustered me by bending to tie his sneaker, I’m grappling with the reality that marriage may very well not be in my future. There are thousands, maybe even millions of single-istas just like me, waiting to find that one ideal dude they can boo up with for the next 20, 30, 40 years, so it seems kind of hard to believe that I would be a chosen one. I’m too ornery, I suspect.

More from The Stir: Dad Whose Baby Was Adopted Without His Permission Deserves Custody (VIDEO)

But does that mean I can’t bring home the child I planned on adopting and welcoming into my little two-person family?

A few months ago, my friend announced that she had been in contact with an agency here in the D.C. area that specializes in facilitating single-parent adoptions, and she passed along their information because she knew I was interested, too. I know—largely from their own admission—that my single friends who don’t have children are restless of those ticking biological clocks and want to get this whole motherhood thing off the tarmac already. Single-parent adoption seems like the golden path.

But I balked, because if parenting in general is full of challenges, parenting solo is an American Gladiators gauntlet. It’s been fulfilling to see my daughter grow into such a spirited young lady, but all of that fluffy crap aside, it has been super difficult at times to do the work that should be parceled out to two people.

Bills, household necessities, all of those wonderful Mommy-can-I-have? requests, they all fall on me. Even pick-ups and drop-offs from school, sleepovers, dance practices, they all fall on me, too. I have a fabulous support system of family, but they live two states away, so that means it’s spotlight on me, all day, every day to make sure she’s cared for, healthy, and content (as much as you can keep a 14-year-old content).

Those are things my friends haven’t been taking into consideration since they started thinking about adoption. They’re thinking she-ra super girl power, I can do this by myself. I’m saying damn feminism. This solo parenting can be overwhelming at times.

But, on the flip side, putting that desire to be a mother on hold to lie in wait for a man who may never show up seems kind of foolish. And that’s where I am myself. Do I volunteer for another round of single mother follies, romanticize the beauty of one-woman childrearing, and accept the multitude of challenges again—times two—or do I just appreciate the fact that I managed to manufacture a relatively productive human being the first time around?

Still, I can’t help but think about the children who may be waiting for someone like me or one of my friends to come along and love and dote on them. And, even if our households aren’t made up of two parents, there would be no shortage of adoration for any kid in them. I guess this, like so many other things, is a personal decision that every wannabe mama needs to make for herself. I’m just not sure what any of ours will be just yet.

Did you or someone you know adopt as a single parent?


Image via stevendepolo/Flickr

boys, child custody, family, girls


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jinxmom jinxmom

I adopted my dd 18 when she was 4 mos old.  Thinking back it was the scariest 9 mos of my life from the time I first saw her in a pic to the day I went to see her 10/11/95 and the day I picked her up 10/14/95. Just thinking about it and where we are now, myself an emptynester lol and her a 1st year  college studen.  Makes me. happySeems like yesterday when I wondered about my decision when she cried for 3 hrs on the way home from Columbus. [sigh] It was a challenge but we made it and with God's help......we did good.

Wendy Hanson

Thank you for taking the time to write.  I always enjoy reading your posts because they pertain to older children.  So many of these posts are about toddlers.  Parenting doesn't end when you send your child to kindergarten.

nonmember avatar Samantha

Ive considered adopting another baby in a few yrs if im not settled down. I really wanted my kids pretty close together in age, & im losing that chance every day. I try to think of it as everything happens for a reason, but im a take charge kinda gal. When i get myself into a more stable lifestyle, if i cant find a man by then or dont end up pregnant anyways (though i dont want to be one of those 3 diff babes from 3 diff dads kinda girls), i plan to adopt. Some baby out there deserves the love i have to give, & my family doesnt feel complete yet. Yes its hard to be a single mom. Infuriating at times, & mental breakdowns are sometimes the only outlet, but it is the most rewarding job. So long as im stable & not taking away from the child i already have too much, i want another child. Its hard to find a decent guy out there, & especially one who is compatible & "the one"... I do want to do things the old fashioned way, but if i cant, ill be damned if i wont have my little family completed.

nonmember avatar Samantha

You have to think about the kid your adopting too though, bc many older kids come from abusive situations or neglectful, & they have plent of problems & behaviours to show for it. It cant be easy to be them, but they could disrupt your household much more than you thought. Babies can turn out to be a problem as well, bc even though they say nurture over nature, they will have some traits of the parents, & they may not all be good. I feel bad even saying it, but such is the reality of adopting. You need to think of the kid(s) you already have, how they feel about it, how it will affect them, ect. Its not all about moms wants.

nonmember avatar kay

I love this post. I have two young ones but my husband and I have considered adopting another child when ours are older, college age. The child will probably have to be around 10 because at that point we'll be in our young 50s. To the poster, I would say, at this point, since your daughter is already 14, its almost as if you TWO will be adopting a child together. She's old enough to be a part of the process and being a big sister has its own role and set of responsibilities. I bet it will be a beautiful experience if you choose to do it.

Crystal Shepherd

As a single parent I would feel guilty adopting a child. I know how it effects my son to not have a father and there are plenty of couples who desperately want a child. I feel it's very unfair that I can't raise my child how I want.I couldn't stay home with him, I never have the time or money to spend with/on him. I think it's selfish to adopt a child,knowing that you're going to immediately put them in a less than ideal situation(spending all day in daycare,not having a father).However,it would be stupid of me to say that a foster home is better than a single parent home. If you go to the hearts gallery,there are children on there who WANT to go to a single mom home. They've been abused by men and don't want to be around them. So I'm all or adopting older children,but not infants. 

BirdCo BirdCo

This article is great. There have been many times I have thought about adopting or invitro all by myself. It really is one of the most likely option right now. That being said holy crap the headline is horrible. It just pisses me off.

GlowW... GlowWorm889

One of the families I babysat for in high school was a single adoptive mother and her adopted child. She's adopted the child as a toddler from another country, and they were probably  the most well-adjusted family I'd ever sat for. They were absolutely adorable together. I would do it in a heartbeat, so long as I could afford it financially and time-wise.

GlowW... GlowWorm889

Though if I were to adopt, either by myself or with my husband, I'd want to adopt a set of siblings. Siblings are usually torn apart by the adoption/foster care system, which is really horrible, in my opinion. Siblings can provide such stability and a sense of belonging for children, which is hard to come by when you're being bounced from foster home to foster home. And when you're the new kid in the family, it woud be nice to have a familiar face. And most families don't want to take siblings--too much hassle.

nonmember avatar Wendy Arsenault

My best friend adopted her 2 youngest. She had her first at 16 and is an amazing Mom. She was just like you and wanted the white picket fence/man of her dreams so she could have a larger family. It was not happening fast enough. She became a foster Mom and has since adopted 2 of the children who started with her as foster children. Her oldest is now almost 17 and LOVES her sisters. She has a 7 year old (she has been with her MOM since she was 2) and an almost 4 year old she took home from the hospital when she was born. They are the luckiest girls in the world. She inspired a friend of hers to also adopt this way (her friend was married, but unable to have her own) and that family now has 2 siblings. It's such an amazing thing to do I actually thought of doing it myself. BUt I'm a single Mom to 3, and we physically have NO room even if I felt I could handle more children (I really don't).
BTW, if you want the 'happy ever after" ending my friend DID meet the 'guy of her dreams' and just got married this past summer. It was such a beautiful wedding. YES, she still has to work, but they are truly a team and such a happy family. So don't fear if you have more children via adoption you will scare the right man away. The right man will LOVE what you have done for your family.
There are so many children out there in need of forever homes!

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