Can I Adopt if I am Single?

a year ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

Adoption is a complicated process with many unknowns. The different types of adoption, the ways in which the process has changed over the years, and the misconceptions about the process cause rumors and myths to abound. As an Adoption Consultant, I hear a lot of questions about the basics of the process from all different kinds of people. One frequent group is singles and they’re often concerned about their chances of adopting successfully.


Specifically, I hear from single women who want to know if they will even be considered for adoption by potential birth mothers. They are worried that, because they are not a traditional two-parent family, they will be looked over by every expectant mom and there may be no point to even starting the adoption process at all. Rest assured, this is not the case.


There are technically no legal restrictions that disallow singles from adopting domestically. However, there are some agencies that will only work with married couples. Remember that that’s okay; those simply aren’t the right agencies for you. There are plenty of agencies who will work with singles and support you in your adoption journey. But it is important that you understand that it is true that it is more difficult to get selected. This is because most potential birth moms are looking for a traditional couple. It is often one of the main reasons why they are considering placing their child for adoption in the first place -- because they cannot provide that two-parent family home.


Yet there are exceptions to every rule and potential birth moms only wanting traditional families is not always the case. Some potential birth moms may have grown up with a single mom and had a wonderful experience. Some may have lived in a home with a very stressful marriage and a great deal of arguing and they do not want to risk having the same environment for their child. As a result, there are some potential birth moms who specifically prefer a single woman. However, that is definitely more the exception than the rule.


As a result, it’s important to keep in mind that if the only time a potential birth mom sees your profile is when she is also looking at profiles of many traditional couples, she’s usually going to pick one of them. Therefore, one key to a quicker and more successful adoption as a single woman is to be flexible on your parameters. This includes being open with your race preferences, budget, and the medical or social background of the child. Of course, speed isn’t everything. But if you can comfortably present for cases where the expectant mom may not have several traditional families to consider, then your chances of getting selected are greatly increased.


Regardless of your parameters, take heart. The right opportunity is out there for everyone. A great example is my recent client Kelli from TX. She was open to a baby of any race. On July 5, she signed up with the adoption agencies we had recommended and she matched, only two weeks later, on July 20! Her daughter (who is Caucasian) was born less than three months after that in mid-October! This simply goes to show that, no matter if you’re single, married, childless or have children already, the right birth mom is going to be thrilled by your family structure and will want her child to be part of that.


Bio: Nicole Witt is the owner of The Adoption Consultancy (, an unbiased resource serving pre-adoptive families by providing them with the education, information and guidance they need to safely adopt a newborn, usually within three to 12 months.

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