Years ago, it was rare if a person who wanted to adopt a child in Pennsylvania — or anywhere in the United States, in fact – was not part of a two-person couple.

Not anymore. Adoption by single people has become widely accepted and common in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Thousands of children nationwide live with adoptive single parents, both men and women, who decided they could offer a stable, loving home to a child who needed just that.

Today, about 33 percent of adoptions from foster care are by single people, and that can be attributed to several factors.

The biggest one, perhaps, is the prevalence of signal-parent households. There are a number of divorced mothers and fathers raising children on their own, as well as unmarried women who have gotten pregnant and chose to raise their little ones on their own. Research studies show that children who have been adopted into single-parent families have just as positive a life outcome as those adopted by two parents.

There are some hurdles for single parents who want to adopt. One of them is cost; we all know that kids are expensive to raise on just one income. Adoption subsidies often are offered by states and even the federal government, especially if the child to be adopted has special needs. That has helped to make adoption affordable for even prospective parents with limited incomes.

Another hurdle is the lack of a co-parent in the home to help with the day-to-day realities of raising a child. It helps to have family and close friends willing to help out along with some job flexibility, such as the option to work at home if your child is sick.

What’s most important when it comes to adoption is giving a child a loving and secure home. To ensure that security, an attorney can assist in reviewing your adoption case and paperwork. When it comes to a child, you want to make sure everything is done legally and properly.