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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:
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.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.