The process of adopting a child can be scary, especially if you are pursuing a single parent adoption. But at Dhanu Dhaliwal Law Group, we’ve seen enough to know that the benefits outweigh the costs for those looking to become a parent.
Amanda Boorman describes her own tumultuous experiences with single parent adoption for the Guardian: “Even with my professional experience, and over a year spent readying myself, nothing could have prepared me for the reality of adopting a child as a single parent.”
It’s a long and arduous road for most, but single parent adoption has changed the lives of many, including Amanda.
“My adopted daughter is truly one of my closest friends. We share a spirit of adventure and a humour that laughs in the face of adversity. Despite her ongoing work at managing anxiety and trauma, I have conversations with her where her emotional intelligence teaches and amazes me. She is currently going through some testing identity issues and I have every faith that she will come through with flying colours.”
Single parent adoption is not for the faint of heart, and it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. Though thousands of children are in need of a healthy home and a supportive parent, we actually discourage single parent adoption for most. Only those who are up to the challenge and seek to grow alongside their child should consider adoption.
That being said, the paperwork, fees, and confusing legal process of adopting a child shouldn’t overtake the emotional and logistical decision process – we’ll take care of that for you.
To help you get started on your journey, we’re here to answer some frequently asked questions about single parent adoption.
Can I adopt a child as a single parent?
First off, the big question. A lot of people think that being divorced or unmarried will affect their ability to adopt. While many may argue that single parents are not fit to raise a child, we don’t agree with that line of thinking, and neither does our government. There are no laws in British Columbia restricting adoption based on employment, sexual orientation, disability, home ownership, or marital status.
Is it harder for a single parent to adopt?
Often, it is harder for a single parent to adopt a child on their own, but it does not have to be this way.
Do I Have A Good Support System?
Everyone knows that parenting can be difficult – extremely so. Often, people rely on their spouse or partner for support, whether that support is financial, emotional, or physical. As a single parent, you will need a strong support system to help you overcome the many challenges of raising a child on your own.
Am I Financially Stable?
Raising a child is expensive. In 2013, it cost a middle-income couple a little more than $245,000 to parent their child to the age of 18. And that number, estimated by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), doesn’t include college.
The USDA has a calculator you can use to estimate the cost of raising a child. It even takes into account whether you’re planning to parent with someone else or on your own. Click here to try it out.
Think just as much about your expenses as your income. Will a mortgage, car insurance and student loans cut into your earnings significantly, and leave you with little to support a child? Some people with lower incomes, and even lower expenses, save more than enough to adequately care for their children.
Adopting is a full-time job in its own right, and child care is one of the major expenses cited in the USDA’s estimate. It’s good to have a measure of “flexibility” in your work situation.
You might also find success by pursuing a private adoption. The adoption lawyers at Dhanu Dhaliwal Law Group can help you with this process, as well as any other adoption concerns. Contact us today if you are looking to adopt a child.