Increasingly, people are deciding that they want to be parents but not spouses. Single people can and do adopt children. While wealthy celebrities may have been at the forefront of single-parent adoptions, you certainly don’t have to be either of these things. However, you will have to show that you are capable of raising a child on your own.
While North Dakota is considered one of the more conservative states, our Department of Health and Human Services says, “Adoptive parents may be married or single, childless, or already parenting other children.” It further states, “People are not required to own their own homes or to have high incomes in order to give children what they need….They need one or more caring and committed individuals who are willing to meet their needs and incorporate them into a nurturing family environment.
What do you need to be a single adoptive parent?
If you’re adopting through one of North Dakota’s private adoption agencies, you’ll need to show as a single parent that you have a reliable support system of people (including family, friends and/or paid child caregivers) whom you can rely on if you were to be ill or otherwise able to care for your child.
Unless you work at home, you’ll need to show that your child will be cared for in school, daycare or by others when you’re at work. That’s particularly true if your job involves travel, long hours or unexpected schedule changes.
While, as noted, you don’t have to be wealthy, you do need to show that you’re financially stable and that you’re able to afford to raise a child. It’s good to be able to show that you have some savings to rely on if you were to lose your job since you’ll be the child’s sole provider.
Often, adoptive parents start as foster parents. This gives you an opportunity to prove to yourself and those who will make the decision that you can handle the responsibility. It can be easier to adopt a child you’ve been fostering than to start the adoption process “from scratch.”
Adoption can be a long, frustrating process. Be prepared for some disappointments. Having experienced legal guidance can help you successfully navigate the system.