Wednesday, December 31, 2008


About Single Mother Adoption

The Role of the Single Mother in Adoption of Children from the Child Welfare System

By Penelope L. Maza, PhD, U.S. Children's Bureau

From the Child Welfare League of America

Until recently, national information on the adoption of children by single women from the public child welfare system was unavailable. The Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), established by law and administered by the U.S. Children's Bureau, is now providing this information. As the information presented here indicates, single women are a critical component in achieving permanency for children in the child welfare system, and they play a particularly important role in the adoption of African American non-Hispanic children.

Close to one-third (31%) of the estimated 36,000 children adopted from the public child welfare system in fiscal year 1998 were adopted by single women. Almost two-thirds (66%) of single women, more than two-thirds (70%) of the children they adopted, were African American non-Hispanic. Almost two-thirds (65%) of the single women had been the child's foster parent, and more than one in five (21%) were related to the child. In more than three-fourths (77%) of these adoptions, the child was of the same race or ethnicity as the single adoptive mother.

When compared with adoptive married couples, single adoptive women are more than twice as likely as married couples to be African American and non-Hispanic (70% vs. 31%) and are somewhat more likely to adopt children of their own race or ethnicity (84% vs. 71%). In addition, single female adoptive parents are about as likely as married couples to have been the child's foster parent (65% vs. 63%), more likely to have been the child's relative (21% vs. 13%), and less likely to not have had a prior relationship with the adoptive child (14% vs. 24%). Overall, the children whom single women adopt are older than the children whom married couples adopt. The average age of the children adopted by single women is 7.2 years; the average age of children adopted by married couples is 6.3 years. In addition, the time from termination of parental rights to adoption for children adopted by single women is slightly longer than for children adopted by married couples (17 months vs. 15 months).

It has generally been assumed that children adopted by single women may be the children for whom it is most difficult to find adoptive homes. AFCARS provides information on the primary special needs for children adopted. Based on this information, single women are somewhat more likely than married couples to adopt a child whose primary special need is race or ethnicity (18% vs.12%), or a child whose primary special need is age (43% vs. 27%). In contrast, single adopting women are less likely than married couples to adopt a child whose primary special need is having a medical condition or a mental, physical, or emotional disability (14% vs. 22%), or whose primary special need is being a member of a sibling group (14% vs. 22%).

In conclusion, the significant role played by single women who adopt children from the child welfare system in providing permanency for a substantial proportion of the children waiting to be adopted cannot be underestimated. Although they are less likely than married couples to adopt sibling groups or children with disabilities, they are more likely to adopt minority children and older children. At the end of FY 1998, the average age of waiting children was 8, and 53% of the waiting children were African American non-Hispanic. For these children, and for waiting children in general, single adopting women will continue to play a critical role in helping them achieve permanency.

Monday, December 29, 2008

All you need is love...

Isn't that a song? All you need is love.... well, some folks in the adoption world believe that all you do need is love to build a family. And while I believe that love is extremely necessary, I also believe that other things are necessary, as well.

Respect - respecting your child's origins (birth country, biological family, race, heritage...etc) is very important. We can't belittle any of it. And, frankly, I wouldn't want to. Yes, my daughter is an American. But she's also Chinese. So, with that comes some responsibility on my part to figure out how to help her love and respect both aspects of her life. The same goes with her bio family. There are biological lines/ties there that are inherently a part of her. I respect that. I do not know her beginnings. That deeply saddens me. And I mourn her loss as well as that of her bio family. But I also know that she and I are building a family, and that I get to help build another part of her familial line...

Willingness - a willingness to learn and be open to your child's pain, hurt, questions, fears, successes, differences, beliefs. It is my responsibility to my daughter to be open to what our lives bring...and especially to help her learn to become her own person and traverse all the feelings, joys, pressures, hurts along the way. I do believe this will include her adoption story.

Education - I believe that we, as adoptive parents, are responsible to be as informed and educated as we can regarding adoption, transracial adoption and identity, and our children's birth country. I'm never going to know as much as I could know... but it is my responsibility to TRY.

Focus - we need to focus on our own children. That has meant that I've taken almost a year for Mia and I to spend mostly together... and will continue to do what it takes to make sure she knows she is my number 1 priority and that she can trust/count on me. I do not think this is adoption specific.

And, of course, then there is love. Love is very key. Without it, the other things are just an empty shell. I'm sure there are other things, but these are what came to mind to me today.


Monday, December 8, 2008


This weekend was spent cleaning... it seems like cleaning, laundry, dishes, etc, is a never-ending chore!! And when I get behind, it makes it even worse. Thankfully, I think I got almost everything caught up this weekend, except the dusting and mopping.

I've gone through my clothes several times this fall and have bagged up what I don't wear. I've been trying to do an overhaul in my closet and get things hung up that I used to put in drawers. I feel like I have so much, but can never find what I'm looking for, so I've been determined to change that!

So, while this is all the usual boring and mundane crap, I felt like it really needed to be done. This is the first time since I became a Mom that I feel like I can take a breath... it was a good, productive weekend at home.

Now, if I could get back to sleeping well...

Oh, Mia's new phrases:

"I did it!!" (after putting her puzzle together!)
"I done...." (i'm done eating mommy)
"I walk" (when she wants down to walk)

OH!! And, she can count to 10 with me! She will count to 3 by herself... but she can actually count to 10. Pretty understandable, too. That's what we did this weekend.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Can't have just one??

I'm sitting here as I've done quite a lot over the past couple of months trying to figure out if / how / should i... adopt again. Frankly, I don't have the money right now. I do believe that if this is meant for me, us, then God will provide. And, there will be a way. And, then there is this yearning... for a sibling for my sweet Lil M.

If you could lift your heart to God for this prayer, I would be so thankful. I just need to know that this is the right direction...


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

day in the life...

So, this week seems to be getting off to a busy start. We got home Sunday from Sis' house. I did dishes and laundry and put presents up. Yesterday, I did more dishes, laundry, garbage night, dinner, mia bath, mama-mia time (she was particularly tired last night 'cause she didn't have a nap)... then got to get online for a bit. Tonight we have to take Manna, my 14.5 year old cat, to the Vet. :(

Tomorrow is family dinner up in Tri-county.
Thurs is play date with MK and MK2.
Meet with a consultant firm after work and then company Christmas party.

Looks like the next time I will sit down and relax is Saturday!! This all on top of normal daily stuff, like mentioned above. Seems like when it rains it pours... I'm not really complaining, just feels like a lot this week is all.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Holiday planning

Divorce sucks. Oh, you probably already know that, and I've never had to go through it myself but it does. My nephew didn't get to be with us on Thanksgiving and the same will be true for Christmas this year. :( So, our normal traditions get bagged, and we have to do something a little different. We're trying to keep things as much the same as possible, but there will be some differences. Like, my dad, Grandpa won't be able to come over Christmas Eve morning to do our normal Christmas morning stuff because he is working. Oh well. One step at a time...

I got my Christmas tree up last night. It wasn't too hard. Lil M watched me from her high chair. She did help me "fluff" the tree a little, and she loves the lights. I think this Christmas is going to be fun for her! Well, and for me, since I'll get to watch her react to all the new stuff. She was here last year, but she is much more interested this time.

We're thinking of going to see some lights at the Zoo or Clifton Mill, but we've got to figure out when a) it isn't too cold, b) when my nephew will be with us, c) my dad isn't working, d) when it isn't too late during the week because Mia goes to bed by 8pm. Let's see if we can get it organized!! lol

Even still, things are great here... just wish it wasn't always quite so complicated!