Single parent adoptions reached unprecedented high in the U.K. in 2018, new figures reveal.
According to experts and family lawyers, adoption by single parents has hit such a record high because of a combination of “greater societal acceptance of single-parent households” as well as celebrity single-parents who have adopted children, TheTelegraph reports. Famous examples would be adoptions by Angelina Jolie, Madonna and Sandra Bullock.
The analysis of Office of National Statistics (ONS) and Family Court data carried out by Wilsons, a private client law firm, revealed that in 2012 there were 876 adoptions by single parents. This continued to rise to 890 in 2013, 947 in 2014, 935 in 2015 and 951 in 2016. However by 2017 the number plummeted to 904, but reached its peak last year with 962 adoptions by single parents.
Sarah Wood-Heath, modern parenting senior associate at Wilsons said: “It’s wonderful to see that a record number of children are being given another chance, and that the idea of a single person adopting is now so uncontroversial.”
According to Wood-Heath, there has been major changes in the traditional family unit. Now, there is a much more liberal perception of single-parent adoptions as well as other atypical adoptions. She thinks its great to see adoption agencies treating all kinds of individuals in the adoption process as equals because "single parents are just as capable of providing a child with a full and stable life.”
Marriage rates have fallen over the years, but many single adults still want to have children and adoption gives everyone the opportunity to start a family and can dramatically improve a child’s life.
Alison Woodhead, 53, director of public affairs at Adoption U.K. is single and adopted her 12-year-old daughter in 2011. According to her, “the narrative surrounding adoption has changed”, with “societal changes” that made single parents turn to adoption.
“When I adopted it was still not that common for or people to talk about a single adoption like it was a completely normal thing to do and now it’s changed radically - there’s no barrier,” she said to The Telegraph. “As long as you're 21-years-old you can be of any sexual persuasion, trans etc.; families come in all shapes and sizes."