Although it is beneficial to have an extra set of hands around when things go awry, single New Jerseyans have been rising to the personal challenge foster care presents – as well as rising to the expectations of thousands of disenfranchised children – for decades. Can a single person become a foster parent? This blog will explain why they can and how they make it happen.
Can a single person be a foster parent? It’s a well-traveled path.
There’s no doubt that fostering and adopting a child is a distinct challenge, especially for a single person. However, it’s important to recognize that as a single foster or adoptive parent, you are not alone – more than 100,000 people across the nation have risen to the challenge.
According to former foster dad, current adoptive dad and Huffington Post columnist Rob Watson, becoming a single foster or adoptive parent will change your life forever.
“Looking for a purpose? A reason to feel good about yourself? There is virtually none better than this. While other parents are creating a life that would not be here otherwise, you are saving a life that might have ended without you. You are taking a child who had no hope for a happy, productive life and giving them a viable future. There are very few accomplishments that you could hope to have that measure up to this one,” he writes.
“Whoever you thought you were, whoever you think you will be, this adventure will change you into a better you. You will not be a person; you will be a family. Life won’t necessarily always be easy, but it promises to always be interesting, enriched and ultimately worth it.”
Become a foster parent in New Jersey.
Can a single person be a foster parent? Statistics tell the story.
Since the Children’s Bureau began keeping tabs on the structure of adoptive families in 2006, New Jersey has ranked among the top five states for the percentage of adoptive families supported by a single person.
Over that span of time, between 36 and 49 percent of adoptive families in the Garden State relied upon a single person to make ends meet – that’s head and shoulders above much of the rest of the nation, where individuals make up the foundation of adoptive families roughly 28 percent of the time.
What’s more, in 2013, about half of foster children who were not reunited with their biological parents exited foster care through adoption – this suggests that many of the individuals with adopted children in their care are former foster parents, and effective ones at that.
Become an adoptive parent in New Jersey.
There you have it – fostering as a single person is undoubtedly doable. In next month’s blog, we’ll discuss the myriad challenges fostering as a single person presents and how to push through each one. Stay tuned!