Some children need extra in life — extra help, extra care, extra compassion and extra love. Some of those children with special needs in Missouri are awaiting adoptions. In fact, the National Adoption Center indicates there are as many as 134,000 children with special needs in the United States, waiting for permanent homes. It’s important to note that foster care and child welfare consider children with special needs to include those who have risk factors for age, racial, disability, ethnic background or other characteristics making it more difficult for them to find their forever homes.
Self-assessment is crucial
There are many things to consider when thinking about adopting a child, especially a child with special needs. There are some hard-hitting questions that need to be asked and evaluated by those considering this type of adoption. Some of them include:
- Are there enough financial resources to care for a child with special needs?
- What disabilities are the couple/person ready to handle?
- What emotional and/or physical challenges can be handled by the adoptive parents?
- What about insurance? Does it cover the costs of having a child with special needs, such as the need for health care providers?
- Is the local school equipped for a child with special needs?
- Is there training locally for adoptive parents to learn how to assist their child with special needs?
- What age range of child would fit into the family dynamic?
Learn about the child’s medical needs
To make an informed decision, prospective adoptive parents should learn as much as they can about the child’s medical background, including developmental information like communication skills and if speech therapy is likely to be needed. Spending time with children who have special needs is one way to prepare for adopting such a child. It is imperative those thinking about adopting a child with special needs learn as much as they can before rushing into a decision.
There are so many things to consider about adopting a child with special needs. A Missouri lawyer experienced in the laws that govern adoptions may be able to answer some questions regarding the aspects of the adoption process. Potential adopters owe it to the child, themselves and other family members to know as much as possible to make an informed, life-changing decision.