Thinking About Adoption - Rapid City,SD

Updated on June 17, 2010
K.H. asks from Rapid City, SD
17 answers

I am 24 years old, single, and ready to start a family of my own. Growing up, I always knew that I would want to adopt when I was ready. I have a great support system behind me for when the timing is right.
When my sister had her fourth child in October, it stirred something inside of me that brought these ideas to the surface again. I had what I guess you could call Family Fever, I felt like it was time for me to be starting my own family.
She told me not to be in a hurry, because I'm still young, but I have the desire to at least start the planning process.
If anyone on here has been through the adoption process, I would greatly appreciate any helpful advice you can give me.
Is it harder for a single person to adopt?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the advice. I guess that I should give you a little more background on my life... I grew up in a rural area, still live around there today. :) I have 5 siblings, three older, two younger. I have always been a natural care taker, and wise beyond my years, or so I’m told. My family says that I have a way with children; they just seem to gravitate towards me.
My sister moved back to the area and started a daycare the summer I graduated high school. I am her fill-in person when she needs to go somewhere.
I have also worked in the school district, first as a teacher's aide, and then as a substitute teacher, I have been doing this for the past four years. I really enjoy the kids, and every day is a learning experience.
I know that adoption has its highs and lows, but seriously, even with your own children, things can be awesome, or rocky. I guess that I should also reiterate that I am not planning on adopting next year, but start the paper work. 

More Answers



answers from Portland on

K., You have a beautiful, open heart to want to care for a child. Your thoughts remind me of how I felt, too. So, I'd like to share my experience. When I was 25, I really wanted to have a child. My fiance and I split up a few months before our wedding. I had wasted 5 years with him. I was so scared that I would never have a baby... or a husband in time. After all, we all know that we can only have children in a certain amount of time and I didn't even know if I could. K., I'm so glad I waited. I got married 5 years later to a faithful, handsome, dream come true husband. Yes, I was 30, but it was the perfect age for me to get married. Three years after that we had a baby. Our daughter has a mommy and a daddy... Something I didn't have. When my parents divorced it was very hard for me. Dads are important... Just curious... Are you interested at all in finding a husband first? Seriously, it's amazingly helpful. My mom divorced with 4 kids and our life was really, really hard. So, I purposely looked for a man who was faithful, calm, reliable and someone I was attracted to, so we could make a baby... even though I wasn't sure if I could.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from York on

We have adopted 4 times, as God has not permitted us to have biological children and my heart hurts for those little ones needing a home and family. However, there are several things one needs to think about.

1. God planned that children have both a mother and a father. They need the security, firmness, stability, and affection of both parents.
2.. For the stability a child needs, the mother can be home to care for the child while the father is working. Otherwise, they have to be dragged back and forth to a babysitters, family members, etc.
3. While adopted children need the same love and care as a biological child, many times they also bring baggage such as emotional, physical (like from parental drug/alcohol use), and other things that many times a biological child does not have to battle with. One needs to take all this into consideration before he/she makes the decision to adopt. If the calling is from the Lord, He will make all things work out.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Adoption is great being a single parent is really hard. Even with all the love and support from the family being a single parent is really hard. It is not just hard for you but I think it is also hard for the child. It really does take a village to raise a child. Children learn by being taught and they catch alot from just watching us. Before you seriously go down the adoption route. I would recommend becoming a foster parent. This will give you some serious exposure to children of all kinds of needs and stages and levels of life and living.

The desire to have children is built into us and yes we do have that biological clock but only you can guage just how much you can handle and raising children alone is a very difficult proposition even with the help. (Consider this - even the most wealthy people on the planet don't have a slew of kids) It takes more than money and help to raise children. It is about your willingness to give up entire blocks of your life, sleep, energy, money, love and everything you have to benefit someone else with no reward for a very long time. Children are beautiful, funny and great but they are more work than you can even imagine at 24.

Get loads of information and take you time. It would be very painful for a child to be adopted and then given back because this just isn't working. It does happen so just be cautious and wait and see what life has to offer you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I know that 24 seems like a fine time to be a mom, and many do it at that age or even younger. I remember the "stirrings" at that age, too. But to some of us 24 seems really, really young. Some adoption agencies have minimum age limits, which can be 30 or 35. There's nothing wrong with starting the planning process, and getting the information.

I had my daughter at 41 and it all went perfectly. I'm glad you have a support system, but I've never felt as alone as I did with a new baby (and I was married). Please take your time with life. I know that having a partner or spouse does not guarantee anything, but alone is alone.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My suggestion is to become a child mentor (Big Sister/Little Sister) program, or a foster care relief mom BEFORE you start the adoption process.

Both of these outlets have their benefits. Being a Big Sister prepares you for having someone count on you. Helps you figure out what age range you are comfortable with.

Being a foster care refief mom lets you help kids in need, and foster parents that need a break. This also helps you figure out what age range you are comfortable with.

While most people's yearning is to adopt a baby, I would suggest adopting a toddler or older. The benefit to this is that they mostly sleep through the night. Either way, you will have to work out an approved daycare situation, and backup daycare situation for when the child is sick.

Good luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

adoption is, in my opinion, one of the most wonderful, beautiful, selfless things you could ever do with your life. being a mother doesn't always have to be about finding the perfect man and "making a baby". you know what you want. i am sorry i don't have any practical advice (although my aunt and uncle who are fairly comfortable financially, decided against it and money was one of the reasons). but i just want to encourage you. i wish i had it in me (emotionally, financially), to adopt. it is not for the faint of heart. do as much research as you can, and take your time. you are only 24 so you have your whole life. i would set a goal, like, by your 30th birthday, or something. do NOT rush it. but if your heart is set on it, well the heart wants what the heart wants. don't let anyone dissuade you. it's truly a blessed person who can go through the process. god bless you. (something you may want to consider is fostering. some people in our church became foster parents and ended up adopting several of the children they were given)



answers from Minneapolis on


Our society keeps adding things that children are "entitled" to, so I don't like to use that word. But I think children have a few very important, simple, yet profound needs. And I believe one thing children are entitled to is a home with both a mother and a father in it. I totally recognize that this isn't always possible; that death or unavoidable divorce complicates things. But in my mind, choosing to become a parent as a single person is like choosing not to use both of your arms, or your legs, etc. Sure it can be done. People do it when they have no choice. But why create such a difficult circumstance?

Parenting is very difficult. Men and women bring to a family different talents, strengths and weaknesses, perspectives, etc. and both bless children to become well rounded and loved in different ways. I think it's more important to say "What am I offering any children I bring into my home and what are they missing out on coming to my single parent home?" than "I have family fever and would like this for myself."

I have had many friends go through the adoption process - domestic and international, open and closed, newborn and older children, private agency or foster care. It is a grueling process. Newborns are in high demand. The average wait time for a healthy caucasian newborn is about 3 years and many agencies only let you have 1-2 children. So many choose special needs children - they are older, have siblings, have health concerns, have physical, mental or emotional issues, etc. These children need extra everything: Extra time, extra money, extra energy. It would be very demanding for even two parents, one with a high paying job and the other with the opportunity of staying home full time.

I think it's wonderful that you have the desire to love and help children, but there are other ways to fill that desire without becoming a parent. Find your local battered women's or children's shelter and become a regular volunteer. Volunteer in the school system. Join the "Big Brothers, Big Sisters" program. Arrange to fly to South America and volunteer in one of their orphanages for a month every year. There are many ways for you to bless and enrich the lives of needy children.




answers from Burlington on

I have adopted both of my kids (with my husband). I have more life advice for you than adoption advice. Don't rush it! Live your life before you settle down with kids. Also, they are a lot of work. It is very nice raising kids with 2 parents (not a necessity, but I can't imagine asking to do it alone on purpose). Help and family is nice, and a luxury that we haven't had, but I prefer to raise my own kids. I would have been ready to have kids at 24 too, but so thankful that life had other ideas. I have so much more life experience to share with my kids since I have had the chance to live more! Adopting has been a wonderful experience, and I wouldn't change your mind about it, but it doesn't take that long if you don't care what color they are :) Mine took 9 mos and 7mos to happen. Good luck in whatever you decide!



answers from Madison on

My husband (24) and I (27) are going through the adoption process at the moment and I would suggest a few things first before you would start any paper work. First, yes it's harder for a single person to adopt. Internationally there are only a few countries that allow it now, but most of those countries also have age requirements which are above 30. Secondly, in order to pass a home study you must have adequate health insurance. From what I know about subbing (my husband is a teacher), you don't get health insurance with your job. What the home study looks for is that the child will be automatically covered under your health insurance and that the health insurance would cover a very wide variety of health issues the child may have.

In WI there is a mandatory 17 hours of classes a first-time adoptive parent must take before passing the home study. I would suggest taking those classes before ever even filling out a piece of paper. Everything costs money, including the home study and everything is also time sensitive. So if you're wanting to do something right now, but are not wanting to adopt, I would just get as much information as you can first, and then when you're ready start all the paper work. Every year after you pass your home study, you must get it renewed which is more costly (not extremely, but still cost money) and you need to get more documents that you had already filled out.

Being a single parent is always more difficult than a 2 parent home in many ways. We have a 14 month old and from when my husband has been away for a week, I've gone a bit insane. We are also pretty young parents...well my husband is more than I am, but we only were married 6 months before I got pregnant. I love my daughter more than anything, but if I were to do it again, I probably would have waited a few years. There are so many blessings that come with being a parent, but also so many sacrifices. Keep in mind that if you ever want to get married someday, it would never be just the 2 of you if you've already adopted.

Do so much research before you make a decision either way because it's true that adoption is for life. You want to give that child the best that you can, and at 24 even though you may love children, it's hard to know what you'd be giving up as well. Good luck with your research!



answers from Topeka on

K....I am so proud of you for wanting to look into the adoption process!!! I have been on the other side of the equation...our middle daughter had a child at the age of 16 and she made the decision to place her precious little baby girl for adoption. Lauren is now 12 years old and I thank God everyday that she has the opportunity for life with the wonderful Christian family who adopted her, as opposed to abortion, which was the option being pushed at our daughter by outside sources.
My first reaction is that you are so young and you might want to just look into this process and wait a bit. There may be the absolute PERFECT man out there for you somewhere and then the two of you can look into the actual adoption together!!
Our adoption was handeled through Crisis Pregnancy Outreach, a Christian Right to Life organization. I Would suggest talking to someone in one of those types of organizations because a lot of them have Lawyers who donate their time to the birth mother, which saves you a LOT of money when it comes to covering the cost of the adoption.
I am not sure about whether it is harder for a single person to adopt or not, of course you see all of the celebrities adopting as single people but I am sure that money is NOT an issue for those folks!!! I agree with what one of the other Mama's has said...the ideal situation if for a child to be raised with a Mama and a Daddy....but I also know of many many wonderful folks who have been raised in a single family situation.
Whatever you decide on, take your time, don't be afraid to ask questions and be prepared for some frustrations and bumps along the road.



answers from Chicago on

I completely understand these "stirrings" of which you speak... I married my hubby 5 days after turning 24, and I would have liked to start our family right away!

We adopted our son when I was 31 and he was just over 9 months old. Because adoption has risks that can be different from biological birth, I am glad that we waited. My son, perfectly content to go to anyone who would smile at him, had sleep issues and would rage towards me. I was prepared for it because I read everything I could prior to the placement, and my maturity helped me survive without causing further emotional damage. Well... maybe that is debatable! We all carry baggage from our parents, right? heehee

Anyway, I suggest that you begin your research with attachment disorders. You'll find four different kinds of attachment issues, and it will prepare you for what makes adoption a little different from other parenting experiences. Some children are unfazed and resilient to transitions/placement, whereas other children in seemingly exact scenarios really really struggle. It's a mystery, but a lot of research exists about it. It isn't just warm fuzzy hippy science, either. Attachment impacts how the brain forms, it's neurological. I hope you will consider your research findings when considering your childcare options. Too many caregivers causes a child to resist attachment... the question is how many is too many? The science jury is still out on that one... At any rate, you also will need to understand the loss that the child experiences that is his and his alone. The Primal Wound will offer you some perspective on this.

As far as single people adopting... we know several single parent families made from adoption. Each of the parents was over the age of 30. I don't know if this was coincidence or an agency requirement. You could go the private, domestic adoption route. This would mean that the pregnant mother/family would select you after reviewing a collection of profiles. The reason a mother would pick you is not something you can really know... you just have to put yourself out there and hope that there's a good match.

You can join an adoption forum online, just to see how people cope with the paperwork process, the waiting, placements, disruptions, the bonding process, and emotional/behavior disorders, etc. I go to Other helpful websites for me are and

Please message me if you have any questions or want to discuss anything. I realized that I never touched on interracial or international issues... this is a whole other essay that I could write ;)


answers from Richmond on

THE VERY FIRST QUESTION I ever asked on here was about adoption, when I was single... go to my profile and check out my questions, go back a few pages, and you'll see it. I got TONS of really GREAT advice!! Go check it out, I know you'll find it all extremely useful. Good luck sweetie!



answers from Chicago on


I am a single mother of two beautiful adopted daughters. I adopted them though an international program which is now unfortunately closed to singles. I was much older than you when I brought my eldest daughter home but I do understand the longings. Despite what some people believe, single parents by choice generally do a great job of parenting! We, after all, knew that we were choosing this life and put work in to make sure that our children were not cheated. So don't let that deter you.

That being said, being a parent is not easy. Your life will revolve around your child. You need to make sure that you can financially provide for a child even if something happens to you.

I found that the process was actually easier as a single as I only had to do one set of paperwork unlike the marrieds who had to complete paperwork for both people. I have friends who have adopted domestically but I don't know how difficult it was for them.

Think through the decision. Remember they don't stay cute babies forever and decide whether you are ready to take on the responsibility for another person all through their childhood and adolesence.

I honestly have no regrets about adopting my girls but there are times when it is tough.

Good luck.




answers from Minneapolis on

I too was very close to my sisters boys (4) and bother's children (3) and was like a 'second mother to them'... but man oh man is it different when it's yours and it's 24/7. I can't stress that enough - it is NOTHING like working with, helping out, being deeply involved in a child's life. It's an entirely different ball game when it is your own child.... and I have a very involved spouse to help out.

I have a friend who adopted as a single mother and her experience was great. The one thing that you don't seem to have right now and really should concentrate on is getting yourself a career with steady pay, benefits, etc. If you don't have that how are you going to pay for all the Dr's visits , formula, etc. that a baby needs in their first few years? Are you thinking that you can use food stamps and welfare? That's not really fair to a child. It's one thing if you 'fall' into that situation with a family - an entirely different thing if someone thinks that's the way to go about affording a family.

I come from a big family and we were all adopted, I have cousins and friends who were all adopted and everyone is just fine so if it is your destiny to adopt it will be great.

You're ONLY 24!! Live your life to the fullest so that you can show your child how to do so.



answers from Columbus on

I haven't been through the adoption process but I have helped other families (and single parents) through it. One of the first things you need to do is decide if you want an infant/toddler or if you would be willing to consider a school aged or older child (5-18). Once you decide that you can look at where you would like to get a homestudy done. Public Agencies will do a homestudy for free and you can become a foster to adopt parent (in some states this is a duel process). Most of the children that are adopted from my Agency are adopted from their foster parents so sometimes you can get a child quicker. Healthy babies are frequently hard to come by through public agencies because everyone wants them. You could go through a private Agency. Sometimes they will charge you to do a homestudy. Prices range from $500 up. Depending on the Agency, you may sometimes have more luck in adopting a younger child through a private agnecy. From there, the options get more costly. For instance, you could hire an attorney who specializes in adoptions who may have connections to help you find a baby....or you can go internationally - - which may costs many thousands of dollars.
Your best bet would be to do an internet search of adoption agencies near you and start talking to them.
A couple of cautions......just because you find a baby doesn't mean it won't grow up with problems and be cautious of international adoptions. I have heard horror stories of parents spending thousands of dollars and never getting to bring the child they have fallen in love with home. Also, with international adoptions, you really don't know the history of the child. I have seen so many of these adoptions disrupt, even when children were adopted as infants or toddlers - - parents who come to my agency and tell me that they don't want their child anymore (happens with all types of adoptions). Remember....adoption is forever. Sometimes you end up with a special needs child and having all of that support will be vital to the physical and mental health of you both.
Also, legally, the minimum age for adoption in most states is 21 years old. Private adoption agencies may have their own minimum ages.



answers from Minneapolis on

I second all those who said that single parenting, while certainly possible, is incredibly hard. I think for your sake as well as your future child's, it's really important that you wait until you are in a permanent relationship. (For the record, I don't think it makes a difference whether or not a child has two mothers or a mother and a father, and neither does the research. So if you're gay, go find that perfect woman who is waiting out there for you! :O))

There have been so many times when I was SO relieved that I had a husband I could hand the kids over to. So many times when, if he hadn't been there, I would have lost it and yelled at them. Parenting really is a two person job.

Go ahead a research adoption, but make a plan not to do it until you are 30. Then -- work on your career and becoming financially secure. Work on your own life -- what makes you happy? Go out, have fun, take chances, do all the things you won't get to do later when you have a family. (Travel! Sky dive! Run a marathon! Etc.!)

THEN look for a life partner. Don't rush anything. Get married, settle down, focus on your relationship.

And only then, start planning for children.

This is what I did, and I'm so glad. I have a wonderful life with a wonderful husband and wonderful children (not to mention, financial security), and I feel that I deliberately chose this, every step of the way.

(By the way, I started fantasizing about having children when I was 18. But I had my first at 30, and it was the perfect time.)



answers from Green Bay on

I am the single (adoptive) parent of a now 9 year-old boy. I adopted him from Russia seven years ago. Speaking for myself it has been a wonderful experience--the only thing I might have done differently would to have been to try for 2 children! The agency I used is European Adoption Consultants (EAC) out of Ohio. They work with people all over the country in coordination with local agencies. During the year they travel to different cities to have seminars and answer questions. I got started a a seminar they put on, and you even get to meet some of the children who have already found their new parents! Their web site is, and you can get the latest information from there. I wish you luck, whatever your decision.

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