Special Needs Adoption Tips

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Definition of Special Needs

There are many beautiful children available for adoption that have been labeled “special needs.” A special needs child may have a severe disability or disorder, such as: Down Syndrome, HIV Positive, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, or blindness. Other special needs children may have a club foot- which is usually able to be surgically corrected, be an older child- above three years old, be part of a sibling group that need to be adopted together, or have a mild but chronic condition that is easily managed. A child labeled as having special needs may be anything in-between. Saying that a child is “special needs” is a way of saying that a child has special considerations that set him or her apart from a so-called normal, healthy infant.

A special needs child shouldn’t be overlooked just because he is different from the ideal. It can be difficult to find a normal, healthy infant for adoption. Consider adopting a special needs child instead. Determine the types of conditions, disabilities, or illnesses that you are comfortable dealing with, and then contact an agency that handles special needs adoptions. These types of adoptions are often much less expensive, depending on the severity of the special need. Do remember that adopting a special needs child is life-altering; be sure that this is something you can truly handle before you jump in head (and heart) first.

   

Interacting With Peers

Special needs children may need special considerations when trying to make friends. As a parent, you may want to contact parents and invite one child at a time for a get-together. The other parents may want to be present also during the visit. This one-on-one time will make making new friends less intimidating for your special needs child.

   
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Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.