There’s a lot to be said about having children, and if your like most of us who have them then you already know they are truly a blessing.
Naturally, every kid goes through their phases of being a little bratty (like my 5-year-old daughter these days, always looking to test the limits and expand her boundaries on what she can or cannot get away with).
But overall, kids and the things they do and say can crack a smile from us even on the worst days.
But what do you do if you are single?
Can a single man adopt a baby in the US?
I’ve often wondered that very same question from time-to-time as I watch my children play in the park. After all, surely in this modern day of age when equality is all the talk, it would be quite normal and natural to do so.
In fact, there have been many articles and posts discussing this very same topic…
In fact, adoption.org wrote a piece recently highlighting the growing phenomenon and the rise of single-parent adoption (although they failed to really hone in on single men).
Let’s go a little further and examine single person adoption, but specifically from a guys perspective.
How Common Is It For Single Men Looking To Adopt?
Prior to the 21st century, single person adoption was unprecedented, and single men would never stand a chance to even have their application considered (I suspect the application would automatically hit the trash can let alone an ounce of consideration).
Moreover, any single guy looking to adopt would probably face stigmatization by being labeled a pedophile, sicko and creep.
However, that was then and certainly, the times are changing…
Thankfully, these days adoption rules have relaxed, and the social stigmatization surrounding single men and adoption has really started to become more mainstream, albeit not there yet.
In fact, according to the National Adoption Center one-third of its adoptions are by single parents, and while the vast majority of adoptions are undertaken by women, the number of single men adopting is growing rapidly, and society is looking less down on such individuals.
Some People Think Men Have Their Own Unique Barriers To Adoption:
I can certainly understand that some people, due to the lingering social stigma surrounding single men and adoption, feel that there are additional issues or barriers; and personally, I thought that as well.
After doing some due diligence on the topic, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that single men have pretty much the same hurdles to jump as single women with some exceptions:
Agency professionals have said that if a child was in an abusive situation with his or her biological mother, or has special needs, a single dad can be a stabilizing factor. Another advantage of single adoptive dads: Many adopt older boys, a group that is historically difficult to place
How Much Does It Cost To Adopt A Baby In The US?
A 2016 study made an interesting calculation: it will now cost new parents around $235,000 to raise a child from birth to age 18—and that figure does not include or factor in the soaring cost of college, and if your child wants to attend university, you can better believe that figure will be much higher.
Not surprising, for single folks looking to adopt the figure can be tens of thousands of dollars more…
Just how much does it cost to adopt a child in the US?
Before we can actually get into the nitty-gritty of the costs associated with adoption, let’s first break down some of the expenses you will have to pay.
Home Study Expenses:
Before being placed on a waiting list, all prospective parents must pay for home studies/evaluations.
These home studies is basically an evaluation process that determines if the prospective parent is even qualified to take a child into their home. Home studies can cost up to $3000 for private and inter-country adoption.
Thankfully, I have hears that there are some private and inter-country adoption organizations that will include the cost of the home study in the overall fees for the adoption, so obviously, this is something you should inquire about.
Nearly all adoptions that I have heard of must be finalized in court to make it 100 percent official.
While some states in the US do allow adoptions to be finalized without an attorney, most adoptive parents will have to hire a lawyer regardless; and hiring a decent lawyer may cost up to $9,000 at the time of this writing
Help In Selecting The Right Agency:
Putting the financial costs of adopting a child aside, you obviously want to select the right adoption agency that will play by the rules, and not attempt to cut corners.
There are plenty of stories circulating the internet about naive individuals shelling out thousands of dollars to these so-called agencies, only to have their money stolen in the end.
In light of this deception, however, it’s good to know that there are some steps you can take to ensure that the agency you are dealing with is legit.
- Research and then do some more research. Thanks to the internet, research in today’s modern era has been really simplified, and what took days or even weeks can be achieved in a matter of hours. Be discriminating and don’t rush into things. Always be thorough and diligent, start making phone calls, and call around various agencies until you find the right one to work with. And feel free to use the BBB database or other similar resources at your disposal. Always use your gut instincts; often the first impression you get is the right one. Specific red flags that I would watch out for are: Did they answer the phone? Did they call you back right away? Were they friendly and welcoming? Did they offer you more information right away? If you answered no to these basic questions, you should cross them off your list of potential agencies.
- Know yourself and just don’t go through the motions. Prepare yourself for your adoption interviews. Be prepared to answer advanced questions about your education, your finances, career, health, lifestyle, and personal history, your age and if you are homosexual. The better you know yourself and the process, the easier it will be to find the right adoption professional.
- Get the complete breakdown of the process: How much will the total cost work out to be? How long will the process take from start to finish? If you are going through the foster care system, what considerations need to be made in regards to sibling groups and special needs children?
- Find positive proof. Many people find tremendous help in Joining a parent support organization that has access to previous clients of the agencies you are looking into. As discussed, check the Better Business Bureau to see if any accusations have been lodged against the agency you are investigating. In my opinion, any adoption agency worth looking into should have an almost spotless reputation.
- Warning signs to watch out for. Does it sound too good to be true? As the old saying goes: if it’s too good to be true, oftentimes that’s because it is. Do they lack affiliations with other reputable organizations, or do they try to fly under the radar? Did they ask for all the fees to be paid upfront or will they accept partial payments? Did they refuse to provide you with an itemized list of fees and expenses, or otherwise lack transparency? And a really important question to ask is are they accredited and licensed accordingly in your state?
Can A Single Man Adopt A Baby In The US? My Final Thoughts:
Thankfully, there is a growing trend globally that has smashed the stigmatization that both men and women must gravitate towards certain choices in life. More and more women have smashed the workplace barrier and begun picking up more non-traditional roles.
Conversely, by allowing men to adopt and care for our precious children means that more and more men have come forward with the confidence and ability to do what traditionally women could only dream of.
Although not always an easy thing to do, I certainly hope that my post answered many of your questions. If you have been thinking of adopting a child for any length of time, rest assured that things have really changed for the better, and that’s obviously a good thing.