All around the world, there are children with special needs waiting to be adopted. The decision on whether to adopt domestically or internationally is a completely personal one, and we list some resources below to help you gather more information. When considering adoption of a child with special needs, it is important to ask yourself honestly what medical, physical or behavioral conditions you are prepared to handle, whether you have the financial resources and/or insurance to cover your child’s needs, and whether your community has the medical and support resources available to assist you and your child. We encourage all potential parents to fully research as many special needs as possible, as some which might originally seem daunting might not be so intimidating after talking with other families who have adopted children with the same need.
One of the most important parts of the adoption journey is choosing the agency with whom you will work. Every agency has different policies, procedures, fees, and staff. It is helpful to compile a list of questions and priorities you may have and then interview each agency you are considering. Make sure and ask the agency for references so you can hear what the experience was like for families who have been through the process. Most agencies will have a ready list of families who are willing to speak with potential new families. Be sure to ask lots of questions and that you feel comfortable working with the staff who will be helping you through this sometimes difficult and often emotional process.
Domestic Adoption Resources
- Adopt America Network
- Adopt U.S. Kids
- Child Welfare Information Gateway - sponsored by the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services
- North American Council on Adoptable Children
International Adoption Resources
- LWB Adoption Assistance Grants
- No Hands But Ours - webpage dedicated to special needs adoption from China
- "I'm Ready to Adopt: Choosing an Agency" blog series from No Hands But Ours (please note that the opinions and information expressed on this website are not necessarily endorsed by LWB.)
- RainbowKids - listing of waiting children from many countries
- U.S. Department of State Adoption Service Provider Search
- U.S. Department of State Country Information - information on specific countries which allow adoption
- International Adoption Clinics: Services and Locations (from No Hands But Ours)