Debate Paper: Should single individuals be allowed to adopt children?

Perhaps the strongest reason in support of single individual adoption is the need for love for the child. There are large numbers of children – of varying ages – who are orphaned or abandoned due to various circumstances. The most likely reasons are teenage motherhood, poverty, taboo of extramarital childbirth, etc. These babies end up in foster care facilities – usually government or charity managed – which can only provide basic facilities. Any child would much rather grow up under the love and care of a single parent than the chaotic environment of orphanages. The strong interpersonal bond that a child forms with the parent cannot be replicated in foster care facilities or orphanages.


In the course of researching for this debate I came to understand several new dimensions to the issue. In other words, the question of adoption by a single individual cannot be answered in simple yes or no terms. There are plenty of qualifying conditions that should be brought to bear on the decision. The eligibility of the adult individual to cater to the emotional, social intellectual and educational needs of the child is of utmost importance. In the case of a older child, his/her adaptability to the cultural environment of the prospective parent should be taken into account.
Although laws have not caught up with increasing demand from single individuals, there is no reason why they should not be amended. Much of the arguments against single individual adoption is plain prejudice and misplaced apprehension. Once the basic precautions and qualifications are met the lack of legality is a flimsy reason to hold back a progressive social trend. If single individual adoption is too novel or radical and people are uncertain how it would work, then perhaps a system of periodic appraisals of the parent is warranted. (Gailey, 2010) The single parent would have to take up this additional responsibility as a further measure of love for the child.

I started the research with a slight favouritism toward allowing single individual adoption. By the end of this exercise my position is only fortified.

Works Cited

Gailey, Christine Ward. Blue-Ribbon Babies and Labors of Love: Race, Class, and Gender in U.S. Adoption Practice. Austin, TX: University of Texas, 2010.

Samuels, Shirley C. Ed. D. Ideal Adoption: A Comprehensive Guide to Forming an Adoptive Family. New York: Insight, 2012.

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