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Adopting on Your Own: The Complete Guide to Adopting as a Single Parent

A How-To For Single Parents By Lee Varon; 432 pp. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $14.00.

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If you are single and exploring the possibilities of parenting through adoption, Adopting on Your Own is a path to discovery. Using real-life examples and practical exercises, Lee Varon—a social worker and co-director of the Adoption Network, a counseling and referral agency that focuses on single parents—helps you assess whether single adoption is the best choice for you and your prospective child.

Up until now, many single men and women have leaped into the adoption process with little more than blind faith. Other guides to adoption may address single parenthood as a subcategory, but this one focuses specifically on the wide variety of issues unmarried men and women face, from adoption agencies’ changing attitudes toward them, to the legal rights of gays and lesbians to adopt.

Adopting on Your Own walks the prospective single adopter through the process of making highly personal decisions: Could I parent a child of either gender? Is transracial or transreligious adoption appropriate for me? Could I parent a child with special needs—that is, an older child, or any baby or child with physical or emotional challenges? Should the adoption be open or closed or somewhere in between? Should I adopt domestically through a public or private agency, or independently using an attorney or facilitator? Or is international adoption the best choice for me? Varon gives prospective singles the tools to make informed decisions all along the way.

There’s plenty of helpful advice on the nuts and bolts of adoption too, including how to choose an agency, finance the adoption, handle the home study, and create a support network. Adopting on Your Own is an excellent how-to for prospective single adoptive parents, including those who are considering adopting a second time. Although it is not a parenting book, an informative appendix points the reader toward further pre- and post-adoption support.

Linda Park is the single mother of two children by adoption.

© 2000 Copyright Adoptive Families Magazine.  Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. 

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