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Issues to Consider Before Adopting a Special Needs Child

Posted on in Adoption

Illinois adoption attorney, Illinois family law attorneyAdoptions can be complicated, whether you are adopting a baby, a toddler, or an older child; whether you choose a private or agency adoption; whether you opt for an open or closed adoption; or whether you decide to adopt domestically or internationally. Adopting a new spouse's child can also come with its own set of challenges. When you decide to adopt a child with special needs, the challenges that are already present with the adoption can be amplified. Many of the children who are in need of homes in the United States and abroad suffer from physical, mental, and emotional issues that can require special care on the part of their adoptive parents.

Adopting a child with special needs might not be the right choice for your family. On the other hand, you might be well-equipped to handle the challenges that come with such a child and provide him or her with a nurturing, supportive home. Keep the following in mind to help you decide whether adopting a child with special needs is the right choice for you.

Special Needs Can Mean a Lot of Things

Although the term “special needs” often conjures images of severely mentally disabled children, the truth is that the term is very broad. A child with special needs is just that – a child with a characteristic that makes him or her require special medical, academic, or emotional support. Examples of special needs that children could potentially have include:

  • A history of abuse or neglect;  
  • Past emotional trauma;
  • A learning disability, such as dyslexia;
  • A physical disability. such as deafness or blindness;    
  • Autism;    
  • A developmental disorder. such as Down's Syndrome;        
  • A group of siblings with whom he or she must be adopted;
  • A long-term condition. such as HIV; and        
  • Prenatal exposure to drugs or alcohol.    

Sometimes, even being a member of an ethnic or racial minority can be considered to have a special need to remain connected to his or her culture. Parents who are not a racial or ethnic minority can face challenges with maintaining their child's connection to his or her birth culture and might not be aware of the unique challenges their child faces as a racial or ethnic minority in the United States.

Parenting a child with a certain special need might be more challenging for you than parenting a child with another need. For example, if you are fluent or willing to learn American Sign Language, you might be a good fit for parenting a deaf child.

Work with a Kane County Adoption Attorney

Adopting a child with special needs comes with unique challenges that are not present in adoptions of able-bodied and neurotypical children. Adding a child with special needs to your family can be one of the most rewarding, yet challenging, things you do in your lifetime. Prepare yourself for the legal challenges that come with any adoption by working with an experienced Kane County adoption attorney. Contact the Goostree Law Group today to schedule your free legal consultation with a member of our team.



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