Adopting a Baby with Special Needs
If you are determined to adopt a baby, then there might come a time when you are presented with the option of adopting a baby with special needs.
Not all newborn babies are born healthy. Therefore not all babies available for adoption are healthy.
There are thousands of babies and children who require the love and attention of adoptive parents. Although they have health problems or special needs, they too need permanent homes.
Unfortunately babies or children with special needs are difficult to place. These special needs adoptions require parents with excellent parenting skills, patience, stability and flexibility. Many babies or children who fall into the category of special needs adoption are babies and toddlers but there are also older children and children who come from racial or ethnic minorities. There are also children with special needs who have been exposed to drugs, alcohol or victims of parental neglect or abuse. Some of these adoptive children suffer from emotional, developmental and physical problems.
There isn't usually a fee involved in special needs adoption. These babies or children are usually adopted through public adoption agencies. The process is similar to other public domestic adoptions. The process requires the prospective adoptive parents take part in an information session where they learn about special needs adoption and what it entails. Next the adoptive parents apply for an adoptive child placement. There is an adoption worker assigned to the prospective parents to work with them and through the special needs adoption process.
Next the individuals are required to complete a formal application for adoption including family and social history as well as personal references. The adoptive parents must complete the necessary home study as well as medical examinations. Once all of these requirements are met, the prospective adoptive parents will receive approval for a child placement. Next the baby or child with special needs will be placed in the home of the adoptive parents.
A probationary period follows the child placement with regular visits from the adoption worker. The adoptive parents must then complete and submit a post-placement report to the government department responsible for adoption. Finally the adoptive parents receive an adoption order from the court. This can be a lengthily procedure but well worth the wait when adopting a baby or child with special needs.
Special needs adoption has two big advantages. When adopting a baby or child with special needs, the time line to complete the process and have a child placed is usually no more than a year. People who are willing to accept the responsibility of children with special needs may find that their wait for an available child is much shorter than adopting a healthy child. With the shortage of healthy newborn babies available for public adoption, many more adoptive parents are seriously considering a baby with special needs.
The second advantage with special needs adoption involves costs. There are no fees or costs involved in a special needs adoption. This is also great for prospective adoptive parents who are anxious to have a child.
Medical information regarding children with special needs is all out in the open. All medical and family records are made available to the adoptive parents. Nothing regarding a baby or child with special needs is withheld.
Most disadvantages with special needs adoption involve the child's emotional problems. Many children with special needs are moved from family to family. This makes it very difficult for the child to form meaningful and lasting relationships. These children may find it difficult to trust people, making moving to a new home and having new parents hard to deal with. The transition period and probationary period may be challenging. This is where patience plays a part. With good parenting skills, patience and perseverance, these situations can be dealt with and the special needs child can overcome their problems.
A newborn baby available for special needs adoption may also suffer from long term problems if the birth mother had a history of drug or alcohol abuse.
So while the desire to adopt a newborn baby may be very strong, it is important not to overlook the long term dedication a special needs adoption may demand.