Charlize Theron Adopts Son, Puts Spotlight on Single-Parent Adoption

By Andrew Chow, Esq. on March 15, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Actress Charlize Theron has adopted a baby boy and will raise the child as a single parent, according to news reports.

The Oscar-winning actress' spokesperson announced the adoption Wednesday. "Charlize Theron has adopted a child. She is the proud mom of a healthy baby boy named Jackson," the statement said, according to The Huffington Post. No further details were released.

Theron publicly expressed her desire to have a child without having to tie the knot in a 2008 interview, the Post reports. So just how common are single-parent adoptions?

Charlize Theron's adoption as a single parent may not have been possible even as recently as the 1970s, when such adoptions were illegal in some states.

But that's changed, and now single-parent adoptions are allowed in every U.S. state, according to the University of Oregon's Adoption History Project.

About 5% of adoptions are to single parents. That includes 25% of adoptions of special-needs children.

Despite the growing acceptance of single-parent adoptions, a single applicant still faces challenges. Some adoption agencies still decline to accept single parents, while others give two-parent households a priority. Single men face even more challenges than single women.

But experts do have some tips for single adults who wish to adopt:

  • Maintain a strong network of family and friends to lend support and serve as back-up caregivers.
  • Make sure you have enough money to cover adoption costs, as well as a stable job to cover the expenses of raising a child.
  • Be confident in your abilities as a prospective parent, and believe in yourself.

Another option for single parents is international adoption, which is essentially a private legal matter between the prospective parent and a foreign court.

Either way, it's probably wise to consult an experienced adoption attorney to help make your dream of single-parent adoption come true.

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