Wendy Duren thought she did everything right.
She broke off relationships with men who didn’t want to settle down. She refused to get pregnant out of wedlock. She prayed for a child.
Duren’s yearning for motherhood was so palpable that her former fiancé once offered to father a child with her. But he warned her that he wasn’t ready for marriage.
“I get bored in relationships after a couple of years,” he told her, she recalls.
Those events could have caused some women to give up their dreams of motherhood. But Duren, a pharmaceutical saleswoman, didn’t need a man to be a mom. At 37 years old, she decided to adopt.
“It’s the best decision I could have made in my life,” Duren says, two years later. She’s now the mother of Madison, a 1-year-old daughter she raises in Canton, Michigan.
“People say I have never seen you so happy,” she says, “but it’s also the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
What’s driving more single African-American women to adopt
Marriage and motherhood — it’s the dream that begins in childhood for many women. Yet more African-American women are deciding to adopt instead of waiting for a husband, says Mardie Caldwell, founder of Lifetime Adoption, an adoption referral and support group in Penn Valley, California.
“We’re seeing more and more single African-American women who are not finding men,” Caldwell says. “There’s a lack of qualified black men to get into relationships with.”
The numbers are grim. According to the 2006 U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 45 percent of African-American women have never been married, compared with 23 percent of white women.