If you’re ready to be a parent but you aren’t ready to be a spouse – or haven’t found the right person yet – you’ve got a lot of company. It’s becoming more common for single people to adopt children than it used to be, and there are fewer barriers.
You don’t need to have the kind of resources that movie stars who’ve become adoptive parents on their own have. However, you do need to have the financial resources and support system required to raise a child without a partner. If you adopt through Georgia’s Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) as a single parent, you need to be at least 21, ten years older than the child and “financially, physically, and mentally able to have permanent custody of the child.”
If you opt for private adoption, you won’t need to deal with the state requirements and red tape. However, the adoption agency or individual(s) from whom you’re adopting will likely be looking for the same type of stability in an adoptive parent. Further, for the child’s well-being and your own, you need to be able to provide the love and care they’ll need through good times and bad.
Essential qualifications for being an adoptive single parent
Before you begin seeking a child, it’s wise to be prepared. In addition to a steady income, it’s wise to have enough saved up to take care of your child and yourself if you were to lose your job or be hit with unexpected medical or other emergency expenses.
A support system is crucial. Do you have responsible family members and/or friends living nearby who can step in and care for your child if you were to get sick or even be stuck in traffic on the way home from the office? There are times when you’ll need more than a trusted babysitter or neighbor.
Parenting experience is also important. The best way to get that is often to start by fostering a child. Georgia has thousands of kids of all ages in the foster care system.
Whatever adoption path you choose to take, having experienced legal guidance can help smooth the way for you and your new child. Whether you’re still thinking about it or you’re ready to begin the process, it’s crucial to understand the law.