Monday, February 7, 2011

Single Woman Adoption

Change in the topics if there ever was one, right? I was randomly reading through my Google Reader and found an interesting discussion happening over at The Simple Dollar. The blogger is written to for advice and selects a few to answer back to. This one was of particular interest to me.

(copied and pasted from the web page)
Q10: Single woman wants child
I am a single woman, 32, never married nor do I want to. I am considering adopting a child. I have a flexible career in which I earn $35K, plus I have $25K put aside to pay for the adoption and another $10K saved as an emergency fund. Is this a financially realistic thing to do?

I think it’s financially realistic if that’s your current situation. My concern would be for the child – and for you – in terms of emotional and intellectual needs.Being a parent is very demanding. Your child will need a lot from you in ways that you can’t even anticipate yet. It’s not easy at all. There are times where you’re going to need emotional support and there are other times when your child is simply going to need the perspective of someone else in their life. If you’re going to do this, I would not do it completely in a vacuum. Do you have a sibling that can help in certain situations with regards to giving parental advice and encouragement when needed? A close friend? Make sure you’re ready to do this and that you’re going to have all the resources needed to give this child everything he or she needs.
As a woman almost in her 30's and who previously considered adoption in her mid-30s if there were no significant partner in my life. this was really interesting to hear. The advice asked for was financial but the advice given was personal. The advice itself isn't bad or negative necessarily but the comments that followed, especially between a blogger named Adam P. and Kevin, are pretty interesting. One is very much open to the idea of giving children a loving home while the other strictly thinks that children need to have two parents to be happy and healthy in a home. I included some interesting examples of the conversation below. It is a lot to read but man, did I get worked up! I couldn't believe how disparaging the view of a single woman wanting to have a baby on her own could be. 

Example A: "Children do better with 2 parents. Sometimes life happens (divorce, death), and that’s not always possible, so you make the most of a bad situation. But to deliberately and knowingly walk straight into a single-parent situation, just to fulfill some selfish desire to feel like a parent, is misguided and self-centered, in my opinion."

Example B: "Maybe some, or even I will grant you that most children do better with 2 parents. But children do a hell of a lot better with one loving parent who wants them than with no parents at all, or even with 2 biological parents that abuse them or fight all the time."

Example C: "Sorry guys, I just don’t believe that everyone has a RIGHT to have children. It’s a privilege. The world doesn’t owe you a baby. Nature has constructed you to be capable of having a baby on your own, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. To plow ahead and have a baby just because you really really really want one, while knowing full well that it’s going to be a hard life for the baby, is selfish.
You can try and distract with red herrings about abusive parents and whatnot, but there are plenty of great, loving COUPLES out there with kids too, and those kids do better than the baby-crazy single women who are hell-bent on having a talking doll that looks like them."

Example D: "Apparently lesbian couples produce the best kids of all, according to some study I read about some time during reading on the gay marriage debate. Should therefore only lesbian couples raise children? The study says children born to hetero couples aren’t as well adjusted as lesbian raised children.
Of course not, because even if you don’t get the ideal start in life you still have children who grow up happy and healthy and successful. And if a stable loving person wants to adopt a child, why would you deny them that right? Because statistically, that child would be better off having been born to two married parents?"

 I find this all fascinating. There were more bloggers weighing in on the discussion but these two had the pretty intense back and fourth debate.

My personal stance is that it is better to have a loving parent(s) that no parents at all and be in foster care for the rest of your adult life. For those wanting to have children without first knowing about or having significant amounts of interaction with children, they are the ones that may need to assess other issues in their life and see how a child fits. For me, I have been a nanny, babysat and stood witness to the amount of responsibility, emotion and energy that is needed to be a good parent. I also know what it means to be a bad parent. Anyone that knows what it is like to have children knows that maybe there is a small sense of selfishness but one that child is in your home, heart, and life, everything is about them. Your work, eat, and sleep (and shower!) schedule is all about them. Adoption agencies (if one chooses to go that route) are intense in their scrutiny of new parents and there is counseling, medical exams, and routine visits done to ensure a best match. Not all of us can say that our parents or those that we know had to do much more than simply get pregnant with no consideration for their emotional or bank account status.

Life is what it is.


  1. I completely agree with your point that it is better to having loving parent(s) than to have nothing. The biggest thing I think I would disagree with is the concept of anyone who has children knows that kids take over-many people don't. The family I used to nanny for (not the ones you know) were gone a lot, had almost 24 hr nanny care, but they considered this "care" and "love". Many people want their lives and children to fit into that and it just doesn't work sometimes. Honestly I think money shouldn't be the issue in the reason to have or not have children-unless it would put the kids in poverty or not have enough resources. I do think that having your emotional and mental health checkout before becoming a parent is important. The more I am a mother and work with mothers I think if you know you want to be a mom or are trying to get pregnant or adopt it should be suggested to have a mental health evaluation or a few counseling sessions to see the preparedness of said individual.

    For YOU...I think you would be an amazing mother with or without a partner. You have done so much soul care and nurturing of yourself over the last few years any child would be so blessed to have you as a Mommy.

  2. Thanks Kat! I appreciate the sweet comments :)

    I guess the more you are around kids the more you see how much of your time and attention they take. I would say that people who aren't around them have no idea what to expect 24/7 which could be a shock to the system if they don't expect it. The conversation on the blog was just so interesting! I couldn't believe the question went from finances (which the woman did very well in planning) to the mental health of all single people wanting to have children.