Complete Guide to Adopting as a Single Parent

When someone decides that they want to adopt, it can be a life changing decision. There are a lot of factors to consider.

We’re a law firm that has expertise in family law and adoption so we can help you when it comes to adopting a child.  

You might be a single person and wonder if you even have the option to adopt the UK. 

We will answer this in more detail throughout this article.

Can you adopt as a single person?

how to adopt as a single parent

Yes, single people can adopt in the UK. 

The adoption process in the UK focuses primarily on the ability of prospective adopters to provide a stable and loving environment for a child, rather than your marital status. 

Single people who wish to adopt undergo a thorough assessment process conducted by adoption agencies or local authorities. 

This process evaluates factors such as emotional readiness, financial stability, and support networks. 

While being single may present its own set of challenges, it does not automatically disqualify you from adopting.

Benefits of single parent adoption

While adoption can be a complex and life-changing decision, there are several benefits to single parent adoption:

Providing a loving home

providing a loving adopted home

Single parents who choose to adopt provide children in need with a stable and loving home environment. These children may have experienced neglect, abuse, or abandonment, and adoption offers them a chance to be part of a caring family.

Fulfilling parenthood dreams

You may not have found a partner or have chosen to raise a child independently, but single parent adoption allows you to fulfil your desire to become a parent. Adoption can bring immense joy and fulfilment if you have always wanted to raise a child.

Building strong bonds

raising adopted children

Single parent adoption can lead to strong parent-child bonds. With one primary caregiver, children often develop close relationships with their adoptive parents, fostering a sense of security and attachment.

Increased adoption opportunities

Single parent adoption can expand the pool of potential adoptive families, providing more children with the opportunity to find permanent homes. 

By welcoming single people into the adoption process, agencies can match children with suitable caregivers more efficiently.

Flexible parenting styles 

Single parents may have more flexibility in their parenting styles and decision-making processes compared to co-parenting situations. This can allow for a more personalised approach to parenting that suits both the parents and the child’s needs.

Strength and resilience

Single parents who choose adoption demonstrate resilience, resourcefulness, and dedication to providing a stable and nurturing environment for their children. These qualities can positively influence a child’s outlook on life and contribute to their own resilience and adaptability.

Support networks

Single parents who adopt often find support within adoption communities, support groups, and online forums. These networks can offer valuable guidance, encouragement, and camaraderie as single parents navigate the challenges and joys of parenthood.

Challenges of single parent adoption

single parent adoption

Single parent adoption comes with its own set of challenges, despite the numerous benefits it offers. Some of these challenges include:

Financial strain

Raising a child on a single income can be financially challenging. You may struggle to cover the costs of adoption fees, childcare, education, healthcare, and daily living expenses without the support of a partner.

Emotional support 

You may experience feelings of loneliness, stress, and isolation without a partner to share the responsibilities and joys of parenting. 

You may lack emotional support during difficult times and may feel overwhelmed by the demands of single parenthood.

Limited resources

You may have limited resources, time, and energy to devote to your children due to their sole responsibility for household tasks, work commitments, and childcare responsibilities.

Social stigma 

If you adopt as a single parent you may still face social stigma or judgement from family members, friends, or society at large. 

You may encounter discrimination or negative attitudes, which can affect your self-esteem and confidence as a caregiver.

Balancing work and parenting

Single parents often face challenges in balancing work commitments with parenting responsibilities. 

You may struggle to find adequate childcare arrangements or flexible work schedules, leading to feelings of guilt or inadequacy.

Limited support network

You may lack a strong support network of family and friends to help you navigate the challenges of parenthood. 

They may struggle to find reliable childcare, emotional support, or practical assistance when needed.

How does adopting as a single parent work?

reading with adopted child

In the UK, the process of adopting as a single parent is generally similar to that for couples, with some specific considerations:

Step 1: Initial Inquiry 

The first step is often to contact a local authority or an adoption agency to express interest in adoption. This may involve attending an information session or making an initial inquiry online or by phone.

Step 2: Assessment 

Single prospective adopters undergo a thorough assessment process, often referred to as a “home study,” conducted by social workers. This assessment evaluates various aspects of your life, including your background, family history, lifestyle, motivations for adoption, support network, and suitability to become an adoptive parent.

Step 3: Training

Prospective adopters, including single individuals, are typically required to attend adoption preparation training sessions. These sessions provide information about the adoption process, the needs of children in care, and parenting techniques.

Step 4: Matching 

Once approved you are considered for adoption matches with children who are in need of a permanent family. 

The matching process takes into account factors such as the child’s needs, preferences, and the potential for a successful lifelong placement.

Step 5: Panel Review

Before being approved for adoption, you must attend a panel review where your assessment and suitability to adopt are considered by a panel of professionals. 

The panel makes a recommendation regarding your suitability to adopt, which is then considered by the adoption agency or local authority.

Step 6: Support and Post-Placement Services 

After a successful match and placement, you receive ongoing support from social workers and adoption agencies. 

This support may include counselling, advice on parenting issues, and access to support groups or networks for adoptive parents.

What financial support is there for adoptive parents?

single person adoption

In the UK, there are several forms of financial support available for adoptive parents. Here are some key forms of support:

  • Adoption Support Fund (ASF) – The Adoption Support Fund provides funding to local authorities and regional adoption agencies to pay for therapeutic services for children who have been adopted, as well as their families. This fund can cover various therapies, including counselling, play therapy, and art therapy.
  • Adoption Leave and Pay – Adoptive parents in the UK are entitled to adoption leave and pay, similar to maternity leave and pay. This allows adoptive parents to take time off work to bond with their newly adopted child. The length of leave and amount of pay may vary depending on individual circumstances and employer policies.
  • Adoption Allowance – Some local authorities offer adoption allowances to help cover the costs of caring for an adopted child. This may include a regular financial payment to assist with the child’s needs, such as clothing, food, and activities. The amount of the allowance can vary depending on factors such as the child’s needs and your financial situation.
  • Child Benefit – You are eligible to receive child benefit, a tax-free payment available to parents or guardians of children under the age of 16 (or under 20 if they are in full-time education or training). Child benefit is paid monthly and can help with the costs of raising a child.
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) If an adopted child has a disability or long-term health condition, they may be eligible for Disability Living Allowance. This is a tax-free benefit to help with the extra costs of caring for a child with a disability or health condition. The amount of DLA received depends on the child’s needs and level of disability.
  • Education Support – Adopted children may be entitled to additional support in education, such as extra funding for school equipment, additional educational support, or access to special educational services.

Experts in Adoption Law – Brown Turner Ross

There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to adoption, especially if you are single. 

It’s a life changing decision so ensure you have digested the information above and done additional research. 

If you need to know any more information in regard to single parent adoption then please reach out to us

Our years of experience in adoption law means we can be of great assistance in your adoption journey.

Southport Solicitors

Tel: 0170-454 2002

Fax: 0170-454 3144

11 St George's Place

Lord Street



Liverpool Solicitors

Tel: 0151-236 2233

Fax: 0170-454 3144

The Cotton Exchange Building

Bixteth Street


L3 9LQ