Can Single Parents Adopt?

Yes! The IAC has always welcomed single people as potential adoptive parents, as the agency does not discriminate based on marital/partner status, or for any other reason. As an open adoption agency, IAC believes that birthparents have the right to choose the family that they prefer, including single parent homes.

You can read a firsthand account of single parent adoption in our Spring 2009 issue of Open Adoption Magazine.

Below are questions that prospective adoptive single parents frequently ask about infant adoption. We encourage you to find out more by requesting a free adoption information packet or signing up for an adoption information seminar.

Single Parent Adoption FAQ

  • Does the IAC work with single adoptive parents?

    Yes. The IAC does not discriminate based on marital/partner status, or for any other reason.

  • Do birthparents choose single adoptive parents?

    Yes. Some birthparents prefer to place their baby with a single parent. Perhaps a single parent raised them, or they feel that your family is a good match based on a variety of other factors. In any case, birthparents do chose to place their babies with single parents on a regular basis.

    Over the last five years, IAC has placed babies with almost two-dozen single adoptive parents. Most of these placements were with heterosexual single women. A handful of placements were with single lesbian women, and two placements with single men.

    IAC has made only one placement with a single heterosexual man. That placement was more than a decade ago. It has only been recently that more single men have applied to adopt, so we hope to include more data on this population in the future.

  • Do single people have a longer wait to placement than couples?

    Single parents have a slightly shorter average wait than couples who adopt.
    Single parents wait on average 14 months for a placement, while couples wait on average 15 months. Again, the sample is small, as we have only done about two dozen such placements so it is hard to generalize. We believe the wait time for single gay men and transgender individuals will likely follow the same pattern with the average wait for placement approximating 15 months.

  • Do any states prohibit single parent adoptions?

    No state prohibits a single heterosexual person from adopting. Unfortunately, at this time, both Mississippi and Utah prohibit adoptions by lesbians and gay men. There is no legal way for a gay man or lesbian to adopt a baby born in those states, nor to adopt from another state if they are residents of Mississippi or Utah. Please note, that the laws regarding gay male and lesbian adoption change frequently. The best source for current information is the Human Rights Campaign web site at: