Some expectant mothers worry that their baby will have special needs, and that adoption for a baby with special needs isn’t an option. Usually this is not true. Depending on the nature of the special needs, there are always adoptive parents who would love to adopt a baby with special needs.
When you’re thinking about adoption, you can feel a lot of uncertainty about the future. Questions run through your mind. How will I find adoptive parents? What will my child’s future hold? Sometimes the questions are more specific: I want to put my baby up for adoption, but she has special needs. Whether you have a new baby with special needs or you know that the chances are high that your baby will be born with some extra needs, you can still have a successful adoption.
Will anyone adopt my baby with special needs?
Most parents of children with special needs are in that position by chance, and their love helps them work to ensure that they create the best possible present and future for that child. However, some people choose to adopt children with physical or developmental differences. Why would someone choose this path? Sometimes, these parents grew up with a family member with special needs, or they may have other adopted or biological children with that need. Others feel called to work with or adopt children who may experience different challenges than other children. Children with developmental or physical differences or emotional needs can be and are adopted by loving families who want to be their parents.
Choosing parents for your child with special needs
Finding adoptive parents for your child can be an emotional journey, and when you know that your child has special needs, this can be even more intense. How do you know if an adoptive family is suitable to parent your child with special needs? Ask questions about their experiences and attitudes toward people with developmental and physical challenges to make sure that you are comfortable with their approach. Talk to prospective adoptive families to see how patient, persistent, and flexible they are. Are they people who can celebrate and see small successes and be grateful for them? Do they have a solid support network of family, friends, and community resources? All of these attributes will help them parent children with special needs.
Accommodating the medical needs of your child
When you’re looking for adoptive parents for your child and you know that your child will need extra support, don’t be afraid to ask about the parents’ ability to manage this support. Do the parents have the time to work with your child to find the best medical care and participate in therapies that will help your child succeed? Where do they live–close to medical care, or do they plan to relocate? Do they have medical insurance that will help fund this care? Asking these questions can be hard, but it can ease your mind about your child’s future.
When special needs are uncertain
When you’re having a baby and you’ve been told that your child may have developmental differences, you may not know what the future holds. It is natural to wonder, “will anyone want to adopt my baby with special needs?” Even children with defined medical conditions can move along very different paths. While some needs are diagnosed in childhood, other children have needs that are diagnosed later in childhood. From childhood accidents to diabetes and cancer, children’s and families lives change to manage the new needs of their family members. Even if your child does not have a special need right now, it’s always important to consider how adoptive parents might respond to these health crises and conditions as they emerge. When you’re speaking with prospective adoptive parents, ask them questions about how they will be able to support your child’s emerging needs, now and in the future.
Creating an adoption plan
During any adoption, it’s important to create an adoption plan. This lays out the plan that you have for your child’s birth and for contact with your child and his adoptive family. Creating an adoption plan that allows you to see updates about your child and visit your child can help ease your mind about your child’s future. When you see how your baby is growing, changing, and finding support, you’ll feel more secure about his future.