In addition to being a mother of two and a clinical social worker who often works with single adoptive parents, Lee Varon is also an author. Her book is called Adopting on Your Own: The Complete Guide to Adoption for Single Parents (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). Some of her recommendations for single parents contemplating a second adoption include:
1. Assess your resources: financial, support network, and your emotional and physical resources. (Do you have the emotional and physical energy to coordinate the lives of two children as well as yourself?)
2. Remember — adopting two means twice (or however many times) as many school meetings, doctors appointments, play dates, soccer games, etc., and twice as many emotional needs you will be asked to attend to. More than one also means that you are in the position of helping your children negotiate and work through any problems (sibling squabbles) that arise. This can be important and growth-producing, but it can also be a challenge and sometimes exhausting.
3. Each child needs a tremendous amount of your time and energy and love — think about whether you have the ability to give this to more than one child.
4. Although two adopted children often share a special bond, there is no guarantee that your children will get along — or want to.
5. If you are thinking about more than one, consider adopting siblings. They will have that biological connection, which is the one thing we can’t provide for our children. Talk to others who have adopted siblings and spend time with them.
6. If you do decide to adopt another child, involve your child in the process. While you don’t want to tell her before you’re fairly certain about your decision, you will want to help her feel a part of the process.