As a hopeful adoptive parent, you have a lot of choices: what type of agency to work with, where you’d like to adopt from and — maybe most importantly — what type of child you’d like to adopt. These choices will shape your entire adoption experience.
With March being National Developmental Disabilities Month, it might be time to start thinking of your other options when it comes to adopting a child.
National Developmental Disabilities Month seeks to raise awareness of those who live with seen and unseen disabilities. As a community, we can all do our part to build a diverse society that celebrates every individual. This is also an opportunity to spread awareness about the challenges facing those living with disabilities.
You may also think about the children eligible for adoption and living with disabilities.
Adopting a child with special needs can be extremely rewarding, for you and for them. But, there’s a lot that you should know before you make a huge decision like this. Remember, a child with special needs is just like any kid. You’ll just need to do plenty of research to make sure that you can meet all of their needs and give them the love and support they deserve.
Special Needs Adoption in Foster Care
Adopting a child through foster care is a rewarding and fulfilling opportunity. You get the chance to build the family of your dreams while a child gets to feel the love from a family that they’ve always dreamed of.
There are many types of children available for adoption from foster care. But, how many of the children adopted from foster care are living with special needs?
If you’re thinking about becoming a foster parent, you should be prepared for any and all situations. And that includes a special needs adoption. In foster care, the term “special needs” don’t always refer to a disability. It can also include characteristics like being an older child, being part of a sibling group and needing to be placed together, or having a specific medical condition.
Because of this broad definition, many of the children in foster care have some type of special needs. In fact, according to the National Council for Adoption, the number of children adopted from a public agency with special needs hit almost 50,000 in 2014.
Special Needs Adoption in International Adoption
While most families think about foster care or private adoption, others consider adopting from another country. Although this used to be a popular way to grow a family, the rate of international adoptions continues to decline. Many countries are even shutting their doors entirely to U.S. couples looking to adopt a child.
However, there are still programs in place for families that are looking to adopt a child with special needs. If you’re considering a special needs adoption from another country, there’s a lot to think about. You’ll need to become familiar with the requirements for your chosen country, as well as the specific needs of your future child. It might be challenging, but it can be worth it in the end.
If you’re looking to adopt a child with special needs from another country, here a few programs to contact:
Special Needs Adoption in Private Adoption
Every year, thousands of prospective parents consider adopting a newborn or an infant. As a waiting parent pursuing a private adoption, you can choose what you’re comfortable with when it comes to the type of child you’re adopting. Your adoption specialist will work with you to find an opportunity that’s just right for your family.
If you’re thinking about adopting a child with special needs from a private agency, here are a few that you can contact:
What You Can Do to Support National Developmental Disabilities Month
When you look at special needs adoptions across all types of adoption, the total comes to almost 70,000 in 2014. That’s huge! But, what can you do if you’re not ready to adopt?
There are plenty of ways that you can get involved today to support a child with special needs. Don’t forget to share your support of National Developmental Disabilities month on social media!
You might also think about starting a fundraiser in honor of this month. If you’re interested, get started with GoFundMe.
When starting your own fundraiser, remember to stay safe online. Here are a few tips for doing just that and for making sure your money goes to the right people.
If you are interested and ready to start your family-building journey, a trained adoption specialist would love to help. Reach out to one today to learn more about how you can adopt a child with special needs.