Do You Have to be Married to Adopt a Child?
Can we adopt if we are just living together?
No, most states only provide adoption proceedings for singles or couples who are married.
You can each adopt as a single, but it gets complicated and expensive. One of you will adopt and complete the adoption processes, forms, payments, and more — and then the other parent will begin the adoption process, similarly to the way a step-parent adoption proceeds.
Birth parents often prefer (and request) a couple who is married, so seeking to adopt through Lifetime Adoption agency as an unmarried couple may not be the right choice for folks in those situations.
This is a common question, and opinions vary — and emotions can run high — as to whether or not it’s appropriate to place that sort of restriction on people willing to adopt. Ultimately, it is the birth mother’s choice.
Still, couples who are just living together and are not married will face this roadblock in just about every state in which they seek to adopt.
Most states only facilitate adoption proceedings for singles or couples who are married. And the majority of the birth mothers we work with express a desire to place their baby with a couple who are married.
Their reasons for wanting to do so are many and varied. But we often hear them express that they want their child to be in a committed, loving, stable, and secure two-parent family situation. They see this as “ideal” and since it is their choice, we work to fulfill their desires.
Some unmarried couples decide they want to adopt and choose to get married for that very reason. Certainly, many of these couples were planning to get married eventually, but the idea of adopting a child makes things go into fast-forward mode.
As long as a couple marries for love and commitment and companionship and not simply because they want to adopt, there is no reason to believe that they are rushing into anything for the wrong reasons. (After all, even a good thing, such as adoption, can be the wrong reason to get married.)
At Lifetime Adoption, we’ve been helping connect expectant mothers with adoptive families since 1986. In that time, we’ve seen lots of adoptions made with married couples — some of which were newlyweds — i.e., married for only 12 months — and others who had been married for decades.
If you have questions about Lifetime Adoption, about adoption plans or the adoption process, or about the work we do, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-923-6784.
If you are interested in working with Lifetime, the first step is to complete our free online application.
Aside from unmarried couples, Lifetime Adoption also gets asked questions about adopting as a single person. Can single people adopt? Yes! We’ve helped many single people adopt.
The choice of whom to place the baby rests with the expectant mother. In our experience, many are looking for married couples to adopt their child but some will consider a single mother for their babies.
Our long history in the adoption industry teaches us that single people hoping to adopt a baby should research their adoption options online or via books on the subject. There is a lot of information out there that will help single people make the best decisions for themselves.
There are many different paths to adoption; no one path is necessarily better than another. The most important thing for everyone involved is to provide a safe, nurturing environment for the baby. Their birth mothers have entrusted adoptive families with their child’s care, so it is very important that everybody is on the same page as the adoption proceeds.
Still have questions? Get in touch with Lifetime Adoption today!
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If you live outside of the United States, please click here for additional information.
Lifetime does not provide adoption services to people living outside of the United States and its territories unless they are currently members of the United States military. If you live outside the U.S. and are looking to adopt children and become adoptive parents, we suggest researching local resources and adoption laws in your particular area.
Private adoption agencies follow the adoption laws of the state and the federal government. Raising a child — even a biological child — comes with its own struggles and rewards. As prospective parents, make sure you are prepared to deal with everything that comes with the adoption — social workers, home studies, adoption attorneys — and everything that comes after it as the newly legal parents of your adopted child.
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