Single Adoption Essay, Research Paper
Should Single Individuals be Allowed to Adopt
There are some conflicts concerning whether or not single individuals are capable to adopt. This paper discusses why singles have the need to adopt. It also discusses some issues they may encounter when considering adoption. In addition, provided is my personal opinion as to why I believe single parents should be able to adopt.
The desire to raise a family and nurture a child is common among both married couples and singles. Single individuals may wish to adopt a child in order to fulfill their need to nurture. They may feel as though their life may be incomplete and therefore consider adopting a child. One single commented ?I had a stable job and could give a child many benefits.? (About.com, 2000)
Children are placed in orphan homes due to various reasons. Such reasons may include abuse, abandonment, neglect, homelessness or death. There is an extremely high amount of children who are in need of a stable home. For example, in 1998 there were 42,000 children in the New York City foster care. Of those 42,000, 6,500 children had parental rights terminated and were in pre-adoptive placements. Five hundred of those children had rights completely terminated and were in the need of a home. Approximately 8,000 children were expected to have their parental rights terminated. Therefore, they would become eligible to be put up for adoption. Many single individuals have an awareness that these children have needs and feel that they can provide a better life for them. A teacher commented, ?Because I continually saw children in my special education classes who live in institutions or went from foster home to foster home, I decided that even as a single parent I could do more for a child.? (About.com, 2000)
(About.com, 2000) (Feeney, 1998)
There are many conflicts that singles face when they decide that they wish to adopt a child. These conflicts arise within their personal environment as well as within agencies and institutions. When a single decides that he or she wishes to adopt a child, friends and family members may suggest otherwise. Friends and family members may insist that the single is placing a burden on his or herself. They may question the single as to why they are considering such a responsibility. Many singles who consider adopting a child are well educated and have careers. Friends and family members may feel that it would interfere with one?s personal responsibilities. They may also believe that the single is placing a burden on his or herself since they would be raising a single parent household. (About.com, 2000)
Agencies and institutions may give singles a hard time with approving their request for adoption. Some agencies have certain policies in regards to single adoptions. Meanwhile, other agencies do not accept single applicants at all. Some biological factors concerning single parents have been emphasized by the media. Such factors describe single parents as being of low-income and struggling. These factors have become stereotypes for single men and women. However, according to the Committee For Single Adoptive Parents, many single parents do not fit this description. Many single parents within this organization are middle class. In addition, nearly half of its members are in good career fields such as: teachers and social workers. The majority of singles who request to adopt a child are college graduates and have earned postgraduate degrees. However, they still tend to be a minority while the majority of adoptive parents are couples. Therefore, singles in addition must compete with couples who request adoption.
Until the 1980s it was nearly impossible for a single male or female to adopt a child at any age. Single applicants were normally considered for the placement of children who needed much care and attention. Due to personal responsibilities singles may have difficulty caring for a child with disabilities and handicaps. Singles are normally adopt children who are disabled, handicapped or of a racial minority. Even when a single wishes to adopt an infant he or she normally adopts a child from another country. Singles basically adopt children who are in an urgent need of a home.
Single males who adopt children encounter more difficulties as compared to female singles. Men have difficulty adopting a child both within the country and overseas. Some nations overseas may accept female applicants who are single, but will not consider a male applicant. When rejecting male applicants, experts refer to a child?s need for nurture. Females are considered as nurturing, and capable of caring for a child. Meanwhile, suspicion is applied to the male who wishes to adopt a child.
(Adamic & Pierce, 1991)
I believe that singles should be able to adopt. I don?t think that they should be treated any differently then couples when they apply for adoption. I understand that it is necessary for institutions to investigate individual?s who request adoption, in order to verify that the child is going to be placed in a decent, loving and stable home. However, I don?t think that they should over emphasize or simply reject singles who wish to adopt. There are many single parent families that have a loving supportive household. Meanwhile, there are families with couples that may be dysfunctional. If a single individual has a good paying job and has what it takes to care for a child then I believe that he or she is just as qualified as the married couple.
If an individual decides he or she would like to be single, it does not necessarily mean that he or she is not capable of raising a family. There are many individuals who wish to remain single for various reasons. I don?t think they differ much as a parent as compared to someone who is married. Who is to determine that a married coupe should be dominate over a single individual who wishes to adopt a child? It may seem like the right thing to place a child in a family that consists of two parents. However, I feel that institutions need to consider the possibility that the married couple can undergo a divorce. Also, I feel they need to consider the fact that the single individual may eventually get married.
Children in foster care suffer both emotionally and physically. These children need a home. There are single individuals who want to help these children. Yet, institutions doubt that they are capable of handling the responsibility of caring for a child. It may be true that a single parent may have difficulties caring for their child(ren) while maintaining a job. However, there are many single parents who survive. Single parents who adopt can rely on assistance from family members, friends, and daycare centers just like any other single parent does. If an individual was incapable of caring for a child without a spouse, then why aren?t children taken away from single parents? A child?s mental stability depends on the support that child receives within his or her home. A child is not deprived of love and support simply because he or she is raised in a single parent family.
I disagree with the fact that men have an even more difficult time trying to adopt a child. I understand that women may be nurturing, however I don?t believe that a man should be underestimated. I believe that a male can be capable of raising a child. As stated before, a child needs love and support. Again, who is to determine that a man is incapable of providing a child with a decent home?
In conclusion, single individuals who wish to adopt a child face many conflicts. Conflicts may arise within family members, friends, agencies and institutions. I feel that single parents should not be deprived from the right to adopt a child. The care of a child does not depend one?s marital status or gender, therefore it should not be perceived as if it does.
Adamec, C., & Pierce, W. (1991) The Encyclopedia of Adoption
Feeney, S.A. (1998, August 18) Single-Minded About Adoption Unmarried women taking children into their homes and hearts. The New York Times New York Now/Women/
About.com (2000) http://adoption.about.com/parenting/adoption/msubsgl.htm#gen