How do you counter this argument about single parenting?

how do you counter that argument which exists in the catholic blogosphere that sincle parents, even if they are capable of raising their children and even if they want to, should not do so because a child should have two parents and unless they give them up for adoption, then they are being selfish no matter what? i’m sure most of you have encountered that line of thinking before, at least i have, all over the place.

While the premise that a child is best off with two parents has a tremendous amount of support, children often have no say in the matter of one parent households.

The argument that the children would be better off with being adopted ignores a tremendous amount of evidence that children want their natural parents.

there are many children, adopted at a very early age, who fit very well into the status of being adopted. However, history is replete with stories of adults who have been adopted as children trying to find their birth parents.

As well, there are stories of children adopted who never really bond well with those adopting them.

However, the argument that the single parent i being selfish is not based in a whole lot of real world situations. I would not bother trying to disprove it, as whomever it is who has that position likely has an emotional, not a rational basis for their position, and positions held because of emotions do not lend themselves to change.


I was adopted at three days old. I bonded totally with my adopted parents and they never kept the knowledge of my being adopted from me. They always told me that I was special because I was chosen. I still went through a phase where I wanted to search out and find my “real” parents. Having that desire isn’t evidence that there was a bonding or any other type of problem with our relationship. I think it’s just a natural curiosity that adoptees go through.

After a bit, it subsided. It cropped up again when I was pregnant with my first child…this time for medical history reasons. It rears it’s head every time you fill out a medical form that wants your parents medical history and you have to put “none” as an answer.

Don’t assume a curiosity about ones biological parents signifies anything other than plain simple curiosity. It’s not indicative of problems!


Never encountered that line of thinking in my life.


I don’t assume. I respond to people I meet who have told me information almost identical to yours; and I have known children who have had significant, long term (many years) issues, not so much with their additive parents, but with being adopted.

You are graced and I not only am pleased to hear that, but also would not suggest that you should be otherwise. And thank you for chiming in on the question.

I am currently watching a family which adopted 4 children. The oldest seems to take to the issue as you have, the next two seem to be having significant difficulties; and I cannot asses the fourth - though she seems quite stable.

Some adoptive children appear to be disniteressted in their natural parents; some are curious, and some seem to carry a disturbance that they did not grow up with their natural family.

I was addressing the OP, which posited the question should single parents give their children up for adoption.

My answer would be maybe, in some circumstances, but most definitely not all.

Your situation also differs fro others, where a parent becomes a “single parent” due to death of the spouse or divorce; and statistically it is highly unlikely that the child or children will be three days old. I am not sure who “thunk up” the question, but it is not a well-formed opinion/question.

God bless!.


I thought that argument was only used for gay couples who want to adopt. I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone say a single parent is selfish for wanting to raise their own child… how crazy would that be, especially if you are a single parent because your spouse died… not that its anyone’s business why you are a single parent, but imagine if that was the reason.

Someone thinks putting your child up for adoption to be raised by strangers just so they can have a mother and father is better? Someone actually said that to you?


not exactly, my quesiton is what to say to people who think it’s something all single parents should do, though i think they generally are implying those who have had children out of wedlock, it has come up on caf before, and many online prolife groups

well, not to me personally, since i don’t have kids, but, yes, i have witnessed such comments

It is not selfish for a parent to want to raise their own biological child, no.


I would counter that it is just their personal, misguided opinion and not Church teaching. I would much rather somebody stay single than with an abusive step-parent.

Starting at 2201 and further review of the Catechism show no support for such a position, so whatever points bloggers are making are irrelevant to the teachings of the Church.

Made plainly clear is that the ideal is a mother and father known to the child. At no point (and I read pretty far ahead) does it say that two parents are a must and that single parenting is bad.

In fact, I would argue, that if the ideal is two parents known to the child, then one biological parent (mother or father) known to the child is still better than any other alternative. Two non-biological parents simply aren’t specified.

Now, an argument can certainly be made for those situations where both biological parents simply cannot handle child rearing (unusual circumstances like serious mental defect on both sides, two fifteen year olds, etc.). But as a general rule, if one of the biological parents is available and suited, then I’d think that’s the best option.

Of course, in any specific situation, I would consult a priest or other appropriate superior.

It’s a pretty common question when people say things like they have a right to a mom and a dad. That question came into my mind as well, but it’s more to see the other’s argument (rather than my own view).

That being said, I’ve actually heard comments like this online and sometimes in real life. It’s usually from a young adult from the cesspit of YouTube pundits’ channels though (who hate single moms), rather than a well intentioned Catholic. There’s this view that if you’re knocked up, you should give the baby up for adoption. Not referring to widows. Michael Knowles or someone from that group once said that young widows should marry quickly so the young child would have a father figure in their lives, but i guess that’s different (although a similar sentiment)

That being said I have heard this from an occasional Catholic when a teenage pregnancy is concerned.

Not the strongest argument, but a parent has a right to raise their child if they’re capable of it. Unless they pose a danger to the child, I don’t think we are in a position to make judgements.

A two parent household can be bad if we have an emotionally distant parent. Are they selfish for keeping their children?

A two parent household doesn’t guarantee great outcomes for the child, and if we’re going to call single moms selfish for raising their children because the set up is not ideal, then let’s go further (which nobody wants to).

Ah I see now. They’re targeting courageous women who have made the decision to keep and raise their child, condemning and shaming them as “harlots”, even after repenting of their sin… can’t let a woman of “loose” morals raise her own child without the guidance of a man. That’s what this position boils down to.


Evidence. Does anyone have any evidence? Say from extensive studies of peer-reviewed research?

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Should widows/widowers have their children taken away from them?


Well first, you don’t waste your time on whackadoodle people in the blogosphere, Angel.

I honestly don’t know what sites you visit but you need to stop. I’m twice your age but you encounter 1000 times the weirdo stuff that i do. It honestly makes me wonder why you are out on fringe sites so much???

Stay away from this garbage.


Sometimes people end up in less than ideal situations through no fault of their own. To take an obvious example, a spouse dies.

actually, i don’t go on fringe sites at all, things honestly just come up, for this particular one, it surfaces a lot of the time in prolife groups. Saw Abby johnson essentially get torn apart on facebook because of a post on something like that, just one example

yeah, to be honest, i do think that is part of it, case and point, it is generally said and implied when a child is born out of wedlock and not other situations

yeah, well that’s the other thing, no one in their right mind would generally suggest a thing to a widow, it’s typically only said to unwed parents, so it seems like there is almost an element of punishment to it, people generally do not have much sympathy if they think a person got themselves in to a bad situation of their own doing.

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