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What Can I Claim as a Single Parent?

By Md. Rifat Hossain →
Single parenthood, may have resulted from a divorce, death of spouse, legal adoption or bearing a child out of marriage. Whatever the causes are, the responsibilities of a single parent cannot be taken lightly. One can get caught in a maze of limited time and finances, with a parent-child relationship to consider.

A single parent can work vigorously day till night and still not be able to provide enough for the family. With bills to shoulder and children to feed, there is a great tendency for one to feel helpless.

It is therefore important to know one’s rights. What can I claim as a single parent? , this is a question a person must be able to answer. Nowadays, there is available information in the internet. A person can readily check online for websites hosted by government agencies that deal with single parent benefits.

However, it is important to thoroughly check the authenticity of the website and the information being provided. A lone parent can also go directly to welfare agencies to personally ask about entitlement to benefits or allowances. Keeping oneself informed is a great way to start.

Benefits, grants and the amount of allowances differ in various countries and even states. Qualifications and procedures in granting these pensions are also not the same. What is applicable in one area may be entirely different – or not possible – in another area.

P.C:- Purple Sherbet
The key is to check agencies locally to find out what benefit is available. Single parent benefits may include housing, scholarships for parents or children, financial assistance to pay bills, meal allowances, etc. but it will also depend on the financial capacity of the country where one resides.

Furthermore, pensions are not available for all. Governments usually require a particular level of income for a person to qualify.

The Irish government maintains a Citizens Information website to keep people informed about available benefits. In Ireland, for instance, people have what they call One-Parent Family Payment OPF) which is provided to single mothers and fathers under the age of 66.

A person can either be the biological and custodial parent, a step parent or the legal guardian of the child. A sole parent must also have an income of €425 or less weekly. A single parent, who has been married, must also ensure that efforts have been made to seek maintenance or support from the other partner.

If a parent is working for 19 hours a week, he or she can claim Family Income Supplement (FIS) while still claiming One-Parent Family Payment (OPF). A parent may also be entitled to Rent Supplement, if one meets the qualifications.

If one is self-employed, he or she may be entitled to Back to Work Enterprise Allowance or JobBridge – the National Internship Scheme. In Hongkong, a single parent is entitled to a personal allowance amounting to HK$120,000 yearly while a married person is entitled to HK$240,000 based on Hongkong 2012-13 Tax Facts posted on EY Building a Better World website.

Benefits and allowances can be a relief for single parents. For this reason, they must ensure that they have accurate information about what they are entitled to.

They need all the help they can get and getting that help can allow them to enjoy parenthood more. In a way, they will not feel so alone in this journey.

Next Article:- Financial Help for Single Mothers

Parents Who Want to Adopt

By Md. Rifat Hossain →
Birth mothers send their children for adoption for a variety of reasons. Some are in a deeply troubled situation, some are too young to carry on the responsibility of parenthood and some are financially unstable.

As mothers, they long for a bright future for their little ones. But sometimes that dream cannot become a reality in their hands, but in another’s.

There are many children waiting for parents to adopt them and give them a family they deserve. The wonderful thing about it is that there are also many parents looking to adopt children. It is just a matter of time, till they find each other – or the right match, so to speak.

But how can single people express their intention of adopting a child? And how do agencies find prospective parents for the children? How can they determine the true intentions of these people?

Many websites are actually posting profiles of parents who are looking for children whom they can adopt. Adoption.com is one of these websites. The great thing about this is that it is open to single parent adoption since it does not have biases about sexual orientation, marital status, sex, age and religion.

Another website is that of Lifetime Adoption Center, which seeks to help birth parents who can adopt their children. The children’s profiles, which contain their photos and interests, are posted in their website. Another service that it offers is finding parents who can adopt these children.

parents looking to adopt
Photo By: David Amsler
Domestic adoption is said to be the center’s specialty. This center, located at Northern California, has been in operation since 1986 and has helped many single parents in successfully adopting children.

This center also offers Free Informational Webinar for Prospective Adoptive Families, which aims to inform people about the steps on how to go about an adoption.

In a very recent article written by Eilish O’regan, Challenges for Parents Seeking to Adopt Overseas, the struggles of prospective single parents are highlighted.

According to this article, Irish people who want to go through an international adoption have been advised that most of the children available are either older or have special needs. This was based on a review for the past two years.

Ireland used to have a high rate of adoption but the rate dropped due to the challenges that the people face. One of the factors that affected it was the Hague Convention, which actually encouraged a stricter but safer process of adoption.

O’regan also noted that though adoption has been consistent in several countries, the main emphasis has been on the interests of the children rather than the prospective parents.More single people are adopting and providing homes to children, especially those with special needs or disabilities.

A prospective parent must be able to find a reputable agency that can help in clarifying matters regarding an adoption process, may it be domestic or international. It seems there is an increasing possibility of not being able to adopt newborns.

Instead, there are older children and those with special needs. But whatever the case is, they are still children who long for love – and a home. The challenge may be greater, but the reward, joy, is something they can treasure for life.

Go Back to homepage:- Single Parenting

Financial Help for Single Mothers: Learning the Ropes

By Md. Rifat Hossain →
There are differences in allowances and benefits given to them and apparently, they also have complaints due to insufficiency. But they are quite fortunate that the government recognizes their need. In some countries like Singapore, they have stricter rules and single parents get less support from the government.

It spells discouragement for single Singaporean mothers but it is something that they have to face. In the US, President Obama has allowed loan modification for their program “Making Home Affordable” to avoid foreclosure for those who have fallen behind in their mortgage payments.

Studies show that there are more single moms than single dads. Both are in need of single parent benefits but their situations usually vary. More often than not, single mothers cannot get a job that generates high compensation due to lack of education.

They also often work for a few hours so that they will have enough time to take care of their young ones. Others who have more children are not able to work at all due to the demands of time.

But whatever the situations are, whether they are planning to go to college, currently working part-time, or they are not working at all, it all boils down to one thing: they all need money.

Financial help for single mothers are being provided by most rich countries. In Japan, US, United Kingdom, Germany and Australia, single mothers are given financial support.


Financial Help for Single Mothers
Photo By: USAG- Humphreys
Illegitimate children do not get any help because they are born out of wedlock. As a result, single parents are not entitled to any financial support.

The only way for them to get assistance is by legally adopting their own children and by paying for a huge amount to do so. Their belief that women should be married is something that they take seriously and it is hard to question something that is based on one’s faith.

Divorced parents with mortgage payment that is more than 1/3 of the monthly gross income are actually eligible for this modification.

The same goes for those who have suddenly lost their jobs or have suffered from medical illness causing them their payments to be delayed. This is a very big help for single parents who are doing their best to provide a home for their families but due to certain unavoidable circumstances, they are reduced to near-poverty situation.

If there is something that can be very useful for single mothers, it is knowing how to budget money effectively. Seeking advice from a financial coach or specialist can lead them towards a positive direction in managing their finances.

While most people do not see the importance of this, there is actually a connection between one’s knowledge in handling money and one’s incapacity to pay debts.

With all the single mothers’ busy schedule, they need to be educated financially to ensure that they are on the right direction and to ensure that they are indeed providing enough for the family.

Keeping track of the monthly household expenses as compared to one’s current income is a good way to start.

Through this, a parent will be able to know if she really needs to work more hours or find other sources of income for the family.

Go Back To Home:- Single Parenting

Single Parent Adoption Requirements: Important Things to Consider

By Md. Rifat Hossain →
Single parent adoption nowadays, is not so uncommon anymore. Birth parents and agencies are already accepting them as prospective parents for their children. In fact, the number of cases is actually increasing in a lot of countries although there are still agencies that are reluctant about it.

Prior to going through this, it is vital to know all the single parent adoption requirements in a particular state or country, before going through the adoption process.

What do single parents need to accomplish? Once prospective parents decide or start considering adoption, they must gather as much information as they can about it in their country, if they are opting for domestic adoption.

If they are more interested in going through an international adoption, then it is better to check the laws governing adoption in that particular country. Furthermore, they must gather feedback and recommendations about the different reputable agencies that allow single parents to adopt.

History of these agencies must be verified well. Another option is to communicate directly with the birth or biological parents and make the necessary arrangements with them. They must know the responsibility that they are about to shoulder before they adopt a child because there is no turning back.

single parent adoption requirementsIt will be very helpful if parents can seek assistance from a lawyer that has expertise or a wide range of experience on this kind of cases. Lawyers can explain legal matters concerning adoption and give an appropriate advice.

Prospective adoptive parents must also ensure that they accomplish all the forms required and submit the necessary documents in due time. What can actually be difficult are the costs that the process entails.

Adopting parents will have to spend a lot for agency, traveling, etc. They must ensure that they are financially capable of paying for the adoption process. Prospective parents must be ready to wait since the waiting time can last for years, depending on a particular country.

It is essential to remember that not all adoption processes end up successfully. One must also be prepared for rejections.

Successful adoptions are results of a lot of factors such as the country’s particular laws and requirements, one’s financial and emotional capability which an adopting parent must prove, characteristics of the child that they may be requesting, the experience and background of the agency who is working on the case and a lot more.

The bottom line is that one must be totally informed about what to expect as soon as he or she even considers the idea of adopting a child. This will somehow make things easier for the prospective parent and will make him or her avoid surprises, especially in terms of costs.

Getting a prior feedback from another parent who has gone through an adoption and who has worked with an experienced agency can also help a prospective parent start on the right foot.

There is no better advice than from people who have gone through the process. But it is important also to bear in mind that each case is different and what works for another parent may not necessarily work for the other.

Next Article:- Parents Looking To Adopt

Abuse of Single Mum Benefits

By Md. Rifat Hossain →
There is no doubt that single parents need assistance from the government. With all the daily responsibilities that they have to accomplish, single parent benefits are absolutely necessary.

But how certain is the government that all the parents who are availing these benefits (intended for single parents) are ACTUALLY single? Is it possible that some parents may pretend that they are single or separated to avail such benefits?

Believe it or not, single parent benefits package in some places like the US or the UK can be quite attractive.

Though most lone parents, especially mothers, are hurt by other people’s prejudices and allegations that they should immediately join the workforce, there might be some truth in saying that providing high pensions or allowances to single parents somehow discourage them from working.

At the same time, it also encourages even those who are not single to pretend they are single just so they can avail these benefits. What happens then is that there are undeserving people who are dishonestly receiving benefits that deserving single parents should be receiving.

abuse of single mum benefits
Image Credit: USAG- Humphreys
In an article written by Chris Pleasance, Nurse with Three Children Lies to Benefits Bosses Claiming She Was a Single Parent.., it was discovered only last September that Cheryl Henwood, a 46-year-old nurse and a mother of three had been pretending to be a single parent and had been dishonestly claiming benefits for seven years.

In reality, she was still living with her husband and both parents are actually earning enough for the family. Furthermore, what was even more devastating was that the whole family was living luxuriously using this money to spend on Disney Trips and other expensive things. With all the property she acquired, she was already capable of paying what she stole.

In an article written by Helen Barnett and Owen Bennett, Council Told Me I’d be Better Off On Benefits, Says Single Mum recently featured the story of a single mom, Chelsea Press, who had a different experience.

A single mom who loved her work and wanted to set a good example to her child, she worked for 27 hours a week. However, because she was working, the single mum benefits she received were usually not enough.

She sought help from her District Council but instead of helping her and providing moral support, she was advised that she can cope more and have higher benefits if she was not working. But Chelsea believed otherwise.

For her, not working and just waiting for benefits to arrive is a sign of dependence and that is not how she wants to raise her child. She wants to show her child that while it is important to seek additional help when needed, it is also important to stand on one’s feet and work to provide for one’s family and to help other people with one’s services.

The two stories of mothers make a stark contrast in terms of intentions, struggles and experiences. Both have goals of providing the best for their children – but with different means. One displayed how she was raising her children through dishonesty while the other was raising her children with strong values.

It is a harsh reality that there are loopholes in the system, a system that may not need to be perfect, but a system that requires a deeper change. Benefits should be given to those who are in need of them and if that purpose is not served, then this system defeats its purpose.

Next Article:- What Can I Claim as a Single Parent?

Foster Care Adoption: A Viable Option

By Md. Rifat Hossain →
There are many single and married people who want to provide a family and home for children all over the world. But single parent adoption is not an easy task. It is a huge responsibility that requires one to have a strong sense of commitment, not just emotionally but physically and financially.

One may choose to go through a domestic or international adoption. Whatever one decides, there are rules and procedures that must be followed.

In some cases, adoptions by single parents are approved but in other cases, adoptions are delayed, or worse, disapproved. It is best therefore, to find other options that can help them adopt children successfully.

Single people who are willing to adopt may initially opt for foster care adoption. The primary purpose of foster parenting is to temporarily take care of the children while the birth or biological parents are still trying to resolve their current situation.

Eventually, it is expected that children and their birth parents will be brought together again as one family.

This can be difficult for those who have the intentions of adopting children because of the emotional attachment that can develop during the period that the children are staying with the foster parents.

This is something, though, that foster parents must be prepared to accept beforehand – that it is just temporary. There are some government rules though in some countries or states, which allow the termination of parental rights under certain circumstances.

foster care adoption
Photo Credit: USAG- Humphreys
For instance, in the US, the Federal Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-89) allows the termination of parental rights when a child has been in foster care for 15 out of 22 months “except on extenuating circumstances.”

The positive thing that comes out of this is that usually, the foster parents are the ones who eventually adopt the children. Although the main goal of foster parenting is really to have the children go back to their birth parents, sometimes, it is just not possible.

Birth parents may still be unprepared financially, perhaps, and children cannot wait forever. Their lives must go on. It is a wonderful opportunity though for single people who are willing to take care of the children for good and for the foster children who have already bonded with them for quite a time.

Prior to foster care parenting or adoption, it is imperative that parents discuss everything with the foster care agency to fully understand the system and the policies.

Otherwise, parents might end up being reluctant in letting go of the foster children when the time comes for them to reunite with their birth parents. Parents must be prepared to handle such situation because it is possible to happen.

But with patience, it is just a matter of time until they find children whom they can really adopt for good.

In foster parenting, their purpose of helping children will never be wasted, for it will always be selflessly directed to the same purpose, the common goal of providing a family for these children, whether it is with their birth parents, with them or with another parent.

Next Article:- Single Parent Adoption Requirements