Single Parent Adoption Statistics

How many singles seek to adopt?

A single parent adopts 33 percent of children adopted from foster care.

In the 1970s, an estimated 0.5 percent to 4 percent of people completing adoptions were single. In the 1980s, that figure more than doubled, when 8 to 34 percent of adopters were single.

Across the U.S., the number of single-parent placements slowly and steadily continues to increase, both in domestic and international adoptions.

Who are the single adopters?

Most single adoptive parents are female. They are most likely to adopt older children rather than infants and less likely to have been a foster parent to the adopted child.

Most single parent applicants demonstrate high levels of emotional maturity and capacity for frustration. They also tend to be independent but linked to a supportive network of relatives.

As a group, the single-parent adopters of American children tend to adopt special-needs children who are older, from minority racial groups, or physically or mentally challenged children.

What research has been conducted on single-parent adoptions?

In a study undertaken by the Los Angeles Department of Adoptions, researchers found that single parents tend to have more difficulties completing adoptions. Thirty-nine percent have made three or more previous attempts to adopt, compared to only 18 percent among couples.

In 1983, Feigelman and Silverman recontacted 60 percent of the single-parent respondents from an earlier study in 1977. The adjustment of children raised by single parents remained similar to that of children raised by adoptive couples.

Groze and Rosenthal conducted a study that reports on the responses from parents in three Midwestern states who had finalized their adoption of a special-needs child before 1988. The sample included 122 single parents and 651 two-parent families. Children in single-parent families had fewer problems.

In the same study, research indicates that single-parent families were more likely than two-parent families to evaluate adoption as having a very positive impact on their lives.

Check out one Parent Souper's personal experience of being Single and Adopting from China.

Source: The National Adoption Information Clearinghouse

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