adoptive-couple-limpQ: How do you find out what a country will accept as far as health problems in adoptive parents? We are 28 and 32, and my husband has a spinal cord injury with some one-sided weakness (walks with a limp). We are interested in Kazakhstan.

A: You ask a great question and one without an easy answer. Some countries have specific restrictions on health and others have vague restrictions and others approach it on a case by case basis. Where countries have specific restrictions, I list them in the adoption country charts on this website. These are more common in countries with a highly centralized international adoption program. It is harder to find out a specific problem will exclude you in countries that either don’t have specific restrictions or handle them on a case by case/judge by judge basis. Kazakhstan falls into this category. Your best bet is to call several agencies that have placed a large number of kids from that country and preferable work in several regions of the country and ask if your husband’s condition will be a problem and if they have worked with couples that have had similar or worse health issues. If your husband’s condition will not interfere with his life expectancy or parenting ability and if his doctor will state this, you will likely not have a problem finding a country to adopt from. Don’t forget about domestic private adoptions and adopting from foster care. For the record, my husband also walks with a limp and had a significant length discrepancy resulting from a motorcycle accident and it was never an issue at all in our adoption.


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