Should single people adopt children?


#1

I am having a hard time deciding whether the Lord is calling me to adopt children or not. I think He is but I am worried that because I am single and have no children, maybe I am misinterpreting the calling. Maybe I am being selfish. I am a 41 female, have never married, have no children and am financially secure and own a nice big house. I am well educated and well traveled and have helped raise nieces and nephews, as well as a friends daughter off and on for several years. I also worked in the juvenile justice system and am well aware of the abuse and neglect so many children suffer before they ever make it to adoption. I am also devout in my Catholic faith. I keep feeling like I could provide a home and love for children who do not have that. Then I wonder if I am being selfish because I can not provide a two parent home. It is not that I wouldn't love to but the Lord has simply not taken me down the path of marriage. I am considering adopting toddlers to about 8 years old. I did consider fostering children but I do not believe I can open my home to a child that ends up returning again and again due to the fault of the parent or parents. It would just be too emotionally draining. I have prayed and I just feel like it is what I am called to do but maybe it is my own selfishness in not wanting to be alone. Anyone have any advice? Should I wait and hopefully meet a spouse and then reconsider it?


#2

Adoption is a loving act of charity towards a child who needs a home. The Church recognizes that a two-parent home is certainly ideal. But the Church does not have any teaching specifically against a single person adopting.


#3

There is not right or wrong answer here that I know of but this is my opininon:

I would wait for a husband. You are not lost to marriage just yet. I married my wife when she was 38 and we had our firest child when she was 39. Marrying later in life does happen and God will bless you with a husband if it’s in his plans.

Having a child will only make finding a husband more dificult.

I believe that a mother and father are neede to raise a child to the highest degree. However, many of these children would be 10x better off with a good single mother than no mother at all.

So as you can see, it’s not an easy one to decide on. :confused:


#4

Bless you, my dear! I think what you are considering is very admirable. Yes, you are single and many people say its "best" to have 2 parents but there are SO many children out there in need of a good home. It would be heart breaking if they could not go to a loving home simply because they were lacking 1 parent.
You have the income, a big house, and the love and desire to care for a child, so I think its an amazing thing you will be doing.
God bless you!


#5

I would not encourage you to adopt very young children. I think parenting without a husband is probably the most difficult task one can sign on for. Kids do need fathers, period. They need moms too, but dads are a critical element of both boys and girls' self-esteem, risk-taking, confidence, etc. To say nothing of being a role model for boys in purity and girls in how to expect men to act with her in her future life.

That said, if you can round up a solid male support team, you might consider an older child who will not be as attractive to adoptive parents. You will still need VERY dependable male father figures, no matter what gender of child you consider. Girls need their dads just as much as boys do, for different reasons, so it would be up to you to provide the child with at least uncles, grandfathers, DEPENDABLE male friends (they have to stay around for the life of the child). This will not be easy. Maybe your own father is close by, I hope so, and if you have strong positive male relatives, like brothers, uncles, cousins, that's helpful.

I do not want to be negative, but this is a child's life. If you can do better for an older child, then it would be a positive step, but leave the little kids for families with 2 parents. Do you know for certain that you would be approved to adopt?


#6

Wow, lots to think about. I do totally agree about having strong male role models in any child's life. I have my own father, two brothers that have families and three adult nephews that all are willing to take part in the child's life.

As for older children, perhaps it was my work with juvenile offenders that makes me think younger children are more impressionable and I have a chance to overcome many of the emotional issues they may be facing.

I have talked with a number of agencies and they see no reason I would not be approved. I am hesitating now because of my own worry that maybe I am hearing what I want to hear and not what God is telling me.

Thank you all though. I have a lot to think about.


#7

Single parenthood adoption is NOT ideal. But lets face it, its far better than a child growing up in a group home.

If I get to my mid 40's and am single I'd definatly be open to caring for a child or two through adoptions. Heck, their was a little girl in the neighborhood I lived in for two years who was practically already an orphan. She was being bounced around from foster home to home and just had a horrible life. She was sassy and sometimes rude, but I saw the little girl she really was...just a child who needed love. Had I had the money/space I would of taken her in...and I was just 24 at the time. I'm not sure that I'd seek it out before 20 years go by...but as I grow more and more financially stable it seems as if in 20 years, if I don't have a husband, it's something I'd do.

Kids need love...people need love. As my friend once said...the difference between one and two is 100%. Two is 100% bigger than one. But the difference between one and none is infinate. And you cannot fill infinity...you can fill your life when you start to have that one person that loves you.

Like Julianne said, you will need to have other people set up as a support system, but every family needs that and far too many families in the world today do without a support system. But there are MANY support systems available.

Having a child can make dating nearly impossible....but at 41, you may be finished with that for the time being...if you adopt a child who's 7 or 8, you'll be free to date in 10 years...which isn't that long in the scheme of things.


#8

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:5, topic:233330"]
I would not encourage you to adopt very young children. I think parenting without a husband is probably the most difficult task one can sign on for. Kids do need fathers, period. They need moms too, but dads are a critical element of both boys and girls' self-esteem, risk-taking, confidence, etc. To say nothing of being a role model for boys in purity and girls in how to expect men to act with her in her future life.

That said, if you can round up a solid male support team, you might consider an older child who will not be as attractive to adoptive parents. You will still need VERY dependable male father figures, no matter what gender of child you consider. Girls need their dads just as much as boys do, for different reasons, so it would be up to you to provide the child with at least uncles, grandfathers, DEPENDABLE male friends (they have to stay around for the life of the child). This will not be easy. Maybe your own father is close by, I hope so, and if you have strong positive male relatives, like brothers, uncles, cousins, that's helpful.

I do not want to be negative, but this is a child's life. If you can do better for an older child, then it would be a positive step, but leave the little kids for families with 2 parents. Do you know for certain that you would be approved to adopt?

[/quote]

This appears to be very good advice if you are not experienced with adopting older children. My husband and I adopted two girls who were 10 and 12. They had backgrounds of severe trauma. Think about this seriously, a child in an orphanage is without parents, sometimes due to death, sometimes due to termination of parental rights. You will be dealing with children who may need intense therapy and or medication. One of our children was suicidal, with an eating disorder and a penchant for cutting herself. We could not keep her safe at times. I would not be able to parent her without my husband to lean on and they truly need a mother and a father to show them by example a healthy normal life. I do not mean to insult anyone for being a single parent. I am simply saying, I needed a husband for my own support and my daughters needed a father to heal the wounds from a poor father in early childhood.


#9

I have several adopted children. I do think it is ideal if the child has two parents. But, as others have noted, a single parent is better than no parent.

I suggest before adopting or fostering that you speak to other single parents. Just by having a child your life will completely change. A child not yet of school age will need your constant attention. An older child, especially one that has been bounced around from home to home, may have emotional and bonding issues. I'm not trying to discourage you, because what you are thinking of doing is truly an honorable act, but rather prepare you for the challenges ahead.

Good luck!


#10

I would consider foster parenting first as a way of checking out the waters. Also if for some reason these children have a chance to go to a two parent home then they will have that opportunity. As you have stated a two parent household is certainly better but a foster home is certainly better than a facility in terms of emergency placement.


#11

I really recommend the book An Unlit Path:

amazon.com/Unlit-Path-Deborah-L-Hannah/dp/1600344844/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1300754129&sr=8-1

This is the story of Christian parents who adopted and fostered children. For the most part things went well but some of the issues were heartbreaking. They were pretty naive going into this as the author admits herself. It sounds like you have a lot more experience. I'd recommend praying about it and maybe talking to a priest.


#12

"It is not that I wouldn't love to but the Lord has simply not taken me down the path of marriage."

It may be a bit premature to conclude that, yet it also reasonable not to raise uncertain hopes. Your desire to help and adopt a child is admirable, yet is also possible to express your love to children in so many ways. Truly there is mystery in God's plan for us, and I pray that you are drawn to that path where God wants you to be.
God bless.


#13

I don't understand what the disadvantage would be. These children are lost souls that might grow up with no family life or faith formation - both things the OP could offer. If the woman feels a call to adopt children and bring them up in a stable, loving environment, then more power to her. I don't know why everyone feels it is so important to spread their own genes when there are so, so many children in this world with no family, no hope, and no guidance.

I personally would love to adopt when I'm older. I think it's beautiful, and good luck on your journey.


#14

[quote="larsenl1, post:8, topic:233330"]
This appears to be very good advice if you are not experienced with adopting older children. My husband and I adopted two girls who were 10 and 12. They had backgrounds of severe trauma. Think about this seriously, a child in an orphanage is without parents, sometimes due to death, sometimes due to termination of parental rights. You will be dealing with children who may need intense therapy and or medication. One of our children was suicidal, with an eating disorder and a penchant for cutting herself. We could not keep her safe at times. I would not be able to parent her without my husband to lean on and they truly need a mother and a father to show them by example a healthy normal life. I do not mean to insult anyone for being a single parent. I am simply saying, I needed a husband for my own support and my daughters needed a father to heal the wounds from a poor father in early childhood.

[/quote]

I guess I was hoping she could get kids who weren't severely traumatized. Maybe there just aren't any kids from, say, 6-12, who haven't been scarred by being in the foster care or adoptive system.

The thing about adopting younger children is that with a single parent, you've got the kid in daycare all day, not optimal. An older child is in school most of the day and perhaps the OP could work 3/4 time as she seems to have a decent job and income. I just hate to see a younger child being put into day care. Maybe they wouldn't even do well in day care if they had problems too. It's just a tough thing all around.

But my prayers are with the OP. I would have wanted more children myself but my body said "no" before I was ready, and my husband can barely handle the 2 children we had, let alone someone else's kids. He doesn't "get" adoption or fostering at all. :(


#15

I thank you all so much for your wonderful advice, opinions and prayers. I will definitely check out that book. I am going to continue to pray and open my heart to hear what the Lord is telling me. God bless you all.


#16

I have been considering this as well. I am a 37 year old single woman, never married and no kids. I was actually licensed to provide foster care for about a year over a year ago. I never actually had any kids placed in my home at that time. I didn't get many calls and the ones I did were for kids with special needs that I did not feel I was equipped to handle. I am a teacher so I have summers and holidays off, but that also means I don't have a flexible job during the school year. I have been praying about opening my license again but honestly don't know if I can handle what comes with foster care (home visits, therapies, paperwork, etc. etc. etc) as a single woman with a full-time job.


#17

A women from our church, I would say she is in her mid 40’s and has never married, adopted three beautiful children from China. The oldest is now in 4th grade, but she has had her since she was very little and the two younger children ( a boy and a girl ) are both in preschool now; again she got them they were very little. I admire her greatly! I’m sure it is very difficult raising 3 children without a husband, but she is a great mom to these sweet kids and they have a full life and are being raised in the truth of Christ’s Church! It’s awesome!


#18

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:14, topic:233330"]
I guess I was hoping she could get kids who weren't severely traumatized. Maybe there just aren't any kids from, say, 6-12, who haven't been scarred by being in the foster care or adoptive system.

The thing about adopting younger children is that with a single parent, you've got the kid in daycare all day, not optimal. An older child is in school most of the day and perhaps the OP could work 3/4 time as she seems to have a decent job and income. I just hate to see a younger child being put into day care. Maybe they wouldn't even do well in day care if they had problems too. It's just a tough thing all around.

But my prayers are with the OP. I would have wanted more children myself but my body said "no" before I was ready, and my husband can barely handle the 2 children we had, let alone someone else's kids. He doesn't "get" adoption or fostering at all. :(

[/quote]

I totally understand what you are saying about infants and toddlers and preschool age children needing to be at home instead of daycare.

Yes my 10 year old daughter was in school. She was also admitted for 5 days to the mental hospital, she was at a emergency youth shelter, she was in an outpatient mental clinic and finally was in residence at a psychiatric mental institute for children. Now I know a lot about medicaid and the Children's Mental Health Waiver, Visiting Nurse Services, and the Department of Human Services that no one ever told me that I would need to know. It has torn my heart out and I have cried a river of tears. My daughter is much better off in the USA with mental illness than she ever would have been if we did not adopt her. I just don't know how a single parent would be able to emotionally and financially deal with the struggle. It is not something to do lightly.

I would not have avoided the adoption, for a love my child, but I would have appreciated knowing what lies ahead and perhaps we could have gotten her in therapy before she wanted to kill herself. As it was, we tripped and stumbled and finally after 3 years navigating the hospitals and clinics found the right treatment.


#19

[quote="headncloudz, post:15, topic:233330"]
I thank you all so much for your wonderful advice, opinions and prayers. I will definitely check out that book. I am going to continue to pray and open my heart to hear what the Lord is telling me. God bless you all.

[/quote]

You may also want to read Parenting the Hurt Child and another book called Attachment in Adoption.

God Bless you for your open heart. I don't want to quelch your love. I do want to inform you to what your heart may experience.


#20

It can be difficult as a single mom, but I think it is very admirable consideration :slight_smile: Having lots of your own friends and family members will make it easier, it really does take a village! They will all become a part of your adopted child’s family support system, and they will each fill a niche in his/her life. The support system will be good for the both of you. You will probably bond easier with an infant, because babies are hard wired to create those loving feelings, but adopting an older child is wonderful because it requires less around the clock care. In addition, it would keep another child out of foster care, and give them a loving and stable home.

I think that if you feel called to do this, go for it! God bless you for wanting to take in a child. i believe that no matter the size of the family, love and balance can be achieved. It just may take a little work than it would for a couple.

Much Love and God bless,
M


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