Adopting as a Single Parent

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Considering adopting a baby or toddler

Aug 2013

I'm considering adoption through Alameda County, and I will be adopting as a single parent. I read through past posts, which were very helpful regarding pros and cons of the local agencies and adopting directly from the county. I'd like to hear from women (or men) who have adopted through the county as a single. Did anyone have a good experience with a particular agency as a single? I'm also curious to hear from single parents about their experiences caring for an adopted child. I'm a Marriage and Family Therapist and have worked with kids in the foster care system, so I am familiar with the types of difficulties foster children have. I'm also wondering how difficult it is to adopt a baby or young toddler (2 years or younger) I would appreciate any advice, suggestions, stories you think might be helpful, etc. Anonymous

I am a single mom who adopted through Family Builders. They place kids from county foster systems all over California and handle the adoptions for San Francisco County, where my kid is from. I loved this organization and would recommend them without hesitation to anyone. They were very supportive of me as a single parent. I don't know details about Alameda County's system but I do have friends who adopted their kids through AC and all was/is fine. I found in SF County some extraordinary people and some not so great ones working within a hard system, but I never found the process to be unmanageable. It took a year from the start of my working with Family Builders for my kid, then one year old, to be placed with me. This did not seem to me to be a long wait. I think that some aspects of the placement process may be slower now, since budget cuts have increased social workers' case loads. I wish you the best. Happy fost/adopt mom
Ah, a subject very dear to my heart! As a single parent, I worked with Alternative Family Services and given the issues that came up with county agencies, I STRONGLY recommend going through a contracted matchmaker. Alameda County posed several challenges to me (though I don't think it was because I was a single parent) that made it impossible for me to work directly with them. My child came to me through SF County, but there was an array of issues that made me extremely grateful for AFS as my advocate and advisor (the number of places where the bureaucracy nearly fails (and sometimes does fail) to work for the very children they are set up to support is too long to list here, but I am happy to talk with you about if you like). I am a big advocate of foster-adoption, in spite of my unpleasant experience with certain county agencies, but am an even bigger believer in using the resources set up to help us navigate the system. AFS is free to you (you only pay for things that the county makes you pay for anyway), they help facilitate the process and avoid bureaucratic delays (took me only 9 months from my foster parent training to my son coming to live with me), and they are contracted by a dozen or more counties to help with foster-adoption placement, which is also a big plus--you never know where the child of your heart is going to be born, and it helps to have a bigger picture. Let me know if you'd like to talk--the moderator, I think, can help us connect. Loving my son more every day
Hi there, I am a single parent who adopted my son when he was almost 2 years old though the foster-adoption system. Here are my thoughts. First you will need to be able to manage and accept the bureaucracy the comes with the foster-adoption system and realize that its many levels of checks and balances are there to make sure that the staff find the best match for the child. The social worker is going to protect that child and screen out adults that would not be a good parent for that child. Realize that as you get closer to the ''matching'' process there might be 5 families all interested in one child and you might get rejected by the child's social worker. Remember -it is about the child first -that is why it is a ''match'' and not spin the wheel and grab the next name on the list that comes up.

From what I've read in your post it sounds like you are looking for a toddler. I wanted a child between 2-3 years old -not an infant. My son was almost 2 so that didn't bother me that he wasn't a full toddle yet. If you are more open/flexible to these then you will have more children to consider.

And finally I will say this, which is what many won't say to you; If you don't think you could parent a child that has special needs of any kind (which can be hard to know with a toddler), then express this to the social worker. Think very hard about this for it will come up throughout your training, during the home study, and when you are beginning to look at the children's profiles. It is not a bad thing to say no. Just be clear on who you are and what you can or can't manage. A child needs a parent who is there for them through out their life. Good luck Single Mom

A close friend of mine did fost-adopt several years ago with AASK (Adopt A Special Kid). She definitely said, just as some of the previous posters did, that if you are going through the county system, it is best to go through an agency, and she loved AASK. adoptive mom