11 J. Contemp. Legal Issues 597 (2000-2001)
Recent Developments in Single Parent Adoptions

handle is hein.journals/contli11 and id is 611 raw text is: Recent Developments in Single
Parent Adoptions
KENNETH STRAUSS
Family Law, April 1999
Single parent adoption was rare until the mid-1960s, when the California
State Department of Social Welfare began to permit it.' Until the 1990s
single parent adoptions accounted for only 2.5% to 5% of adoptions
nationwide; by 1995, single parents were estimated to have received
between 12% to 25%-between 15,000 and 32,000---of all adoptions.2
Although the numbers lend hope to singles who wish to adopt, single
parent adoption is still somewhat stigmatized. Most adoption agencies in
the United States clearly continue to prefer two-parent families. Unmarried
applicants often find themselves at the bottom of lengthy waiting lists;
many of them turn to adopting older or special needs children, or to
international adoption.
The few studies on single parent adoptions have been described as
tentatively optimistic,3 and have resulted in more favorable consideration
of the single adoptive parent. Acceptance of single parents as adoptive
parents provides greater flexibility to adoption agencies and independent
birth parents. The single parent's desire to adopt may give a child who
would be difficult to place in a more traditional family an opportunity to be
adopted into a supportive, nurturing environment.
1.  Naomi Miller, Single Parents by Choice 57 (Insight Books 1992). The first study
on single parent adoption, based on placements of forty children by what is now the Los
Angeles Bureau of Adoptions, concluded that the parents and children had generally made
good adjustments. Id. at 58.
2. Adoption in the United States <http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/research/
ressta.html> (updated February 1999) [citing William Meezan, Adoption Services in the
States, U.S. Dept. Health and Human Services Pub. No. OHDS 80-30288 (1980), and Joan
Shireman, Adoptions by Single Parents, in Single Parent Families: Diversity, Myths and
Realities (Shirley M.H. Hanson et al., eds., The Haworth Press, Inc., 1995) (based on the
total number of adoptions in the United States in 1992, the last year in which total adoption
statistics were available)].
3.  Miller, note 1 supra, at 58.

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