Adoption can be a wonderful gift of life, hope, and happiness for both the child(ren) and parents. I know many children and adults who were adopted. Some as infants, some as older children, and some as children with special needs. There are many loving adults who have the capacity to bring additional children to their home and raise them as their own, creating a bond as sure as anything biological. For those who can and who have the desire, it is absolutely commendable and can be a wonderful loving experience for everyone involved.
As mentioned, I’ve known parents who have adopted children with special needs. Wonderful people who stepped into a situation with eyes wide open and who, on an ongoing basis “stepped up to the plate” to meet the sometimes extensive unrelenting needs of these children. There are many parents who are able to find great reward through the love they share, they service they provide, and which continues through the life of the child.
Sometimes parents adopt children with special needs which were either unknown or for which they were unprepared. Sometimes this occurs when an older grandparent adopts one of their own grandchildren who as s/he grows older becomes more than the grandparent can handle. Sometimes it occurs when a parent adopts a child about whom they know very little or of whom they have little understanding of the potential needs. Recently there was a great deal of media attention about a foreign adoption gone bad. It is a horrible thing to adopt then reject a child; however, my goal is not to place blame on what has happened. My goal is to encourage people who adopt, to adopt with their eyes open and prepare to stay the course. I do not want to discourage people from adopting. I do want to encourage adoptive parents who are willing and able to be prepared and determined to do whatever it takes for children with special needs.
There are seven issues you should be especially concerned about, and potentially prepared for the effect it may have for the children and you: 1. Mental health (of both parents and their family members); 2. Physical health (of both parents and their family members); 3. Drug (including tobacco) and alcohol consumption of the mother during pregnancy: 4. Attachment (especially for children who either were not adopted as newborns); 5. Physical Health of the child. 6. Your ability to continue to parent and care for the child(ren) as you grow older. and 7. If an open adoption or an adoption of related children, what is the ongoing relationship going to be with birth parents and extended family.
If you are thinking about adopting, don’t just trust the agency, find out everything you can about the child, consult with an independent professional you can trust and make sure you are willing and able to stay the course. After you have adopted is not the time to decide that this child was more than you could handle.
I won’t give any specifically identifying information; however, I have personally known adoptive parents and/or adopted children who have overcome all of the above successfully. Sometimes it is extremely difficult and in some cases it takes more skill and patience than most parents possess. If you are both determined and prepared almost any adoptive situation can work; however, some situations are more than many parents can handle.
Google Parenting Search Engine below, type in: "Things to consider when adopting a child", and/or "reputable adoption agencies", and/or "special needs adoptions", and/or "Wednesday's Child"
Remember, just because you find it on the internet, doesn't mean that it is or is not reputable. Do your homework.