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Number of single parents adopting hits record high in UK

Recent data has revealed the number of single-parent adoptions rose to its highest level in 2018; increasing from 904 the previous year to 962.

It has been claimed this is due to a “greater societal acceptance of single-parent households” alongside the number of celebrity single-parents, such as Angelina Jolie, who are adopting.

There was a total of 2.8 million single-parent households across the UK in 2017, accounting for 15 per cent of all households. This recent figure is helping to remove the stereotypical family status of a ‘middle-age, middle-class, married couple’.

In 2012, there were 876 adoptions by single parents. This figure increased in 2013 and 2014 (to 890 and 947 respectively), fell slightly to 935 in 2015 and rose again to 951 in 2016.

New research from Adoption UK looked into why people choose to adopt, asking whether the inability to have birth children was the primary cause. Although more than half of parents (58 per cent) agreed that fertility issues motivated their decision, for 42 per cent of parents, infertility was not the primary reason.

In fact, the charity’s experts discovered that an increasing number of parents were motivated to “support a child who has had a tough start.” The data found that around three-quarters of all children adopted from care in the UK were removed from their birth parents due to abuse or neglect.

Director of public affairs at Adoption UK, Alison Woodhead, explained that a person's ability to take on a child with a traumatic past is taken “far more seriously than their age, marital status or sexual preference.” Ms Woodhead also spoke to The Guardian about her experience adopting as a single-parent in 2011:

“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.

“These children are among the most vulnerable in society, it’s fantastic adoption is catching up and welcoming all sorts of people in with open arms.”

Contact our Adoption and Family Lawyers East Kilbride & Hamilton, Glasgow

If you are considering going through the adoption process in Scotland, you need expert legal guidance from a specialist family law solicitor. Speak with a member of our qualified team today by completing our online enquiry form

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