What Do I Need to Know About Special Needs Adoption?

When adopting through an agency, and often through foster care, a questionnaire usually accompanies the application. Included in the questionnaire is a list of special needs that you would be willing to consider in the child you adopt.

Prior mental preparation for hopeful adoptive parents is essential. What kind of needs can I care for? What time commitment can I make? Will my heart be able to handle a child who may not have long to live? Am I willing to learn ways to care for a child with special conditions?

One panelist determined that, after a specific experience, she would “not see the need before seeing the child” any longer. Instead, she would look at the child and consider, “is this my child?” When it feels right, perhaps a special need that accompanies the child may not be as hard to care for as one might think.