Our International Adoption Coordinator Megan Montgomery poses the questions that often arise when considering special needs adoption.
In the beginning stages of adoption, there are a lot of decisions that come up. Country preferences. Age. Money. Agencies.
“What kind of special needs can we handle – if any?” is probably the most important, often uncomfortable and soul-searching one of all of them.
Children with special needs often require extra medical attention, behavioral therapies, or emotional assistance. So, as you consider the option for your family there are a few important questions to consider:
- “Do we have the financial resources available to manage the special needs we think we can handle?”
- “Are we physically and emotionally healthy?”
- “Are there supports that we can identify, family, friends, community, to help us to parent a child with special needs?”
- “Are we prepared to be our child’s biggest support and strongest advocate?”
- “What type of impact could this type of adoption can have on our entire family?”
- “What were our original expectations when we began considering adoption?”
- “What are the possible joys and advantages that the adoption of a child with special needs could bring our family?”
Careful consideration, a realistic attitude and education will help to ensure that you have the most successful adoption experience possible. So, please take your time in this process. Please don’t consider special needs adoption as a shortcut to bringing your child home sooner, and please don’t feel you need to excuse yours reasons for choosing or not choosing certain special needs as a good fit for your family. By doing so you might “underestimate the commitments and demands of raising a child with special needs.”
Adoption STAR believes that every adoption option should be considered in order to find the right program for each unique family. We know that adding children to your family is a big decision. Deciding to adopt a child with special needs is how you will grow your family is a monumental one that makes you the most important person in your child’s life.
As you are considering these questions and other, here are some helpful resources to help you figure out the best decision for your family.
- Search for reliable information on conditions and diseases here: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health-information/
- Find an medical adoption specialist in your area: http://www2.aap.org/sections/adoption/directory/map-adoption.cfm
- Local Support Group Resource Directory for WNY:http://www.parentnetworkwny.org/documents/Directories/30075-Directory%20PI.pdf
- An online community for special needs adoption: http://specialneedsadoption.rainbowkids.com/
- Adoption STAR also has a glossary of many terms that is a useful reference to start learning more: http://adoptionstar.com/the-agency/a-z-glossary/
Read More by Adoption STAR’s Annual Shining STAR Event and Special Needs Adoption:
- I Felt Her Calling Me From China
- An Interview: Parenting Children with Special Needs
- Special Needs Adoption Videos from the University of Chicago
- Supporting Special Needs Adoption with Shining STAR
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