Can a Single Person Adopt? What You Should Know

Having a child of our own is a common goal many of us share. Yet some hopeful parents may be wondering, can a single person adopt?

A single person can adopt a child in the United States. The key is to have a proven ability to be able to provide a nurturing, loving, and stable home environment for your adopted child. Some countries can be more traditional and require the person adopting to be a woman.

Today, many single people choose to adopt without a partner.

Let’s face it, there are times when we have not met that perfect match, yet our biological clock is still ticking.

Or perhaps you prefer flying solo and do not feel you need a partner to raise a happy, healthy child. In today’s world, it is perfectly acceptable to adopt a child without a partner.

How do you feel about adopting a child as a single parent? Have you discussed your decision with your extended family?

Are they just as excited as you, or are they a bit apprehensive about you adopting by yourself? 

Single young father on the bed admiring his baby.

Can a Single Person Adopt?

You can adopt as a single parent. Each state has laws set to protect a single prospective parent’s right to adopt a child.

With that said, there are still many adoption agencies and attorneys that would prefer a child be adopted into a home where there is an institution of marriage.

Adopting a child as a single parent is possible, yet you will need to be prepared for the challenges that may arise.

Although not a given, it is common for some adoption agencies to try hard to offer children that are harder to place with a nontraditional parent.

That is not to say, however, that adoption agencies do not offer these harder-to-place children to traditional parents, too.

Make sure that when you are communicating with your adoption agency you express where you stand and what you are prepared to handle and what you are not prepared for.

Do not ever be made to feel guilty or pressured into an adoption match that you are not 100% feeling good about.

Many children that are up for adoption have special needs or are ill. These children require an abundance of patience, love, and extra energy far and above children who do not suffer from these ailments.

You have a right to hold out for what you ultimately want, just like a married couple does. Do not let bias discourage you.

Be strong and hold your ground on what you want, and the adoption agency you are working with will respect you for that.

Be advised that while you are vetting adoption agencies, also ask them about their views on single-parent adoption.

You will want to make sure you both understand each other before you ever reach for your pocketbook.

How much control do adoptive parents have over the type of child they adopt? Learn more here.

Pros of Single Parent Adoption

Many single parents are going to be considering the pros and cons of adoption. So, what are the pros of single-parent adoption?

1. More undivided attention is given to the child.
2. No battle over parenting decisions.
3. One-on-one time with the child.
4. No compromising on how money is spent.
5. The child will be the main chore helper.
6. Less potential drama and more stability.

I don’t know about you, but I enjoy reading the pros and cons of just about anything. I may see some things I have already thought about, but I generally also see some things that I hadn’t thought of.

Have you ever wondered if an adopted child can inherit from their biological parents?

Cons of Single Parent Adoption

As with anything, there are cons. What are the cons of single-parent adoption?

1. The child will grow up with only one parent.
2. Tighter finances with only one income.
3. No partner to relieve you and take turns.
4. No one at home to have adult conversations with.

Countries that Allow Single Parent Adoption

The hard truth here is that when adopting internationally, single moms will have much better luck adopting a child.

Generally speaking, the countries that allow single-parent adoption do not view favorably on single men wishing to adopt a child.

Our old-fashioned views in the United States are slowly beginning to broaden to accept more untraditional lifestyles, though intercontinental adoptions have a long way to go.

Before we dive into the countries that allow single women to adopt a child, please allow me to help the men out for a moment.

Yes, it feels unfair that you probably cannot adopt internationally. You know you would be a good dad, and you should be granted the same parental opportunities as women are provided.

No worries, as you can still adopt domestically.

Men do not have to adopt internationally for a successful adoption experience!

OK ladies, here we go. Below are several countries that will allow a single woman to adopt a child, information courtesy of Travel.State.Gov.

Although there are possibly more countries that allow single prospective adoptive parents to adopt, we are covering just a few. For a full list of countries and their specific requirements, visit Travel.State.Gov.

Home studies are a required part of the adoption process. Learn how to prepare for a home study and shave time off of your lengthy adoption process.

Bulgaria Requirements to Adopt a Child

  • Residency: There are no residency requirements to adopt in Bulgaria, but prospective adoptive parents are expected to spend five days with their adoptive child before the orphanage director will release the child.
  • Age of Adopting Parent: Adoptive parents must be at least 15 years older than the child they wish to adopt.
  • Income: Oddly, there is no mention of income requirements listed that could be found on the Travel.State.Gov website for Bulgaria under their requirement listing of who can adopt.
  • Marital Status: Prospective adoptive parents can be a hetero-married couple or a single person. The law does not specify orientation for the latter.

China Requirements to Adopt a Child

  • Residency: Not required, although travel to China is necessary for document processing and of course, to get your child.
  • Age of Adopting Parent: The minimum age to adopt in China is 30. Single female prospective adoptive parents must be no more than 45 years older than the child they wish to adopt.
  • Income: Your income must be equal to at least $10,000 for each family member in the household, including the child to be adopted.
    The net worth of a single prospective adoptive parent must be $100,000, which cannot include such things as a pension, disability benefits, etc.
  • Marital Status: Single is allowed, but not to single parents over 50. One must be married to adopt if over the age of 50.
    In any case, a prospective parent cannot be more than 45 years older than the child they wish to adopt.

Colombia Requirements to Adopt a Child

  • Residency: Not required, but of course, you will need to travel there to sign the necessary documents and get your chosen child.
  • Age of Adopting Parent: Prospective adoptive parents must be 25 years of age and at least 15 years older than the child being adopted.
  • Income: Income documents are required to prove you are capable of financially caring for a child.
  • Marital Status: Both married and unmarried individuals are permitted to adopt in Colombia, but they do have much stricter requirements for unmarried prospective adoptive parents wishing to adopt a child.

As with everything in life, there are pros and cons to consider. What are the pros and cons of adoption?

Haiti Requirements to Adopt a Child

  • Residency: Prospective adoptive parents wishing to adopt in Haiti must be habitually resident in another country, such as the United States.
  • Age of Adopting Parent: If single, a hopeful prospective parent must be at least 35 years of age.
    No prospective adoptive parent may be over the age of 50 when their application to adopt is submitted unless adopting a relative.
  • Income: There are no income requirements specified under Haitian law, but proof of financial stability is required.
  • Marital Status: Prospective adoptive parents may be unmarried, married, or in common-law relationships, although Haitian procedures do not allow adoptions by LGBT couples regardless of their marital status.
    Single women may adopt a child in Haiti and must be between the ages of 35 and 49.

Philippines Requirements to Adopt a Child

  • Residency: Residency is not required, but you will need to go through the Hague Adoption Convention process to adopt a child in the Philippines.
  • Age of Adopting Parent: Prospective adoptive parents must be at least 27 years of age and at least 16 years older than the child at the time of the application.
  • Income: The minimum annual income to adopt a Filipino child is $40,000 USD.
  • Marital Status: Single applicants are eligible to adopt children between six and 15 years old in the Waiting Child Program.
Trina Greenfield - Adoption Author

About the Author:
Trina Greenfield is passionate about providing information to those considering growing their family. Trina does not run an adoption agency. Her website is strictly information-based, so she is able to provide unbiased, credible information that she hopes will help guide those along their journey.