Single Adoptive Parents Fact Sheet
How many singles seek to adopt?
- Research in the 1970s found that an estimated .5% to 4% of persons
completing adoptions were single. Studies in the 1980s found from
8% to 34% of adopters were single. (Stolley, 1993)
- Across the country the number of single parent placements slowly
and steadily continues to increase, both in domestic and intercountry
adoption. (Feigelman and Silverman, 1993)
Who are they?
- Most single adoptive parents are female, are most likely to adopt
older children than infants, and are less likely to have been a foster
parent to the adopted child. (Stolley, 1993)
- Single parent applicants are self-selective. Most applicants have
high levels of emotional maturity and high capacity for frustration,
and are independent but linked to a supportive network of relatives.
- As a group, the single parent adopters of U.S. children tended to
adopt "special needs" children who were older, minority, and/or handicapped
children. (Feigelman and Silverman, 1993)
What research has been conducted?
- In a study undertaken by the Los Angeles Department of Adoptions,
researchers found that single parents tended to have more difficulties
in completing their adoptions. Thirty-nine percent had made three
or more previous attempts to adopt, compared to only 18 percent
among the couples. (Feigelman and Silverman, 1993)
- In 1983, Feigelman and Silverman recontacted 60% of the single-parent
respondents from their earlier study in 1977. Six years after the
initial study, the adjustment of children raised by single parents
remained similar to that of children raised by adoptive couples. (Groze
and Rosenthal, 1991)
- 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-parents families. Researchers found that comparisons of
single-parent homes to two-parent homes showed that children in single-parent
families experienced fewer problems. (Groze and Rosenthal, 1991)
- In the same study, research found that single-parent families were
more likely than two-parent families to evaluate the adoption's impact
as being very positive. (Groze and Rosenthal, 1991)
Branham, E. (1970). One-parent adoptions. Children,
Feigelman, W. and Silverman, A.R. (1998). Single parent adoption. In:
The Handbook for Single Adoptive Parents, Chevy Chase,
MD: National Council for Single Adoptive Parents. 123-129.
Groze, V.K. and Rosenthal, J.A. (1991). Single parents and their adopted
children: a psychosocial analysis. The Journal of Contemporary
Human Services, 130-139.
Stolley, K.S. (1993). Statistics on adoption in the United States. The
Future of Children: Adoption, 3(1), 26-42.
Reprinted with permission by the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse
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