Should You Adopt a Child with Special Needs

Most international adoptions are now special needs adoptions, as are adoptions from US foster care. Are you up to adopting a child with special needs? Host Dawn Davenport interviews Martha Osborne, founder and director of Rainbow Kids, a photolisting website for harder to place children; and Dr. Lisa Nalven, a developmental pediatrician, specializing in caring for children with developmental disabilities. She is the Director of Developmental Pediatrics and the Adoption Screening and Evaluation program at the Kireker Center for Child Development-Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Dr. Nalven also serves on the Executive Committee for the Council on Foster Care, Adoption and Kinship Care for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Hit the Highlights
  • What does the term Special Need include?
  • What are the more common special needs of children needing adoption internationally and domestically?
  • Does it vary by country?
  • What are some of the more minor special needs?
  • Which special needs are more involved?
  • Are the number of children with relatively minor special needs becoming less, or to ask this another way: are SN that you are seeing in children needing families now more severe?
  • What is the special need adoption process and how does it differ from the traditional adoption process?
  • How to have an adoption referral evaluated to know more about the child’s needs and if you are the right family?
  • How long is reasonable for a family to have to decide if they should adopt a specific child?
  • How long does it usually take to have the adoption referral reviewed by an adoption medicine doctor?
  • Is it possible to get additional information when considering a special needs adoption?
  • What is spina bifida and what are the symptoms?
  • How severe is spina bifida?
  • Can a child with spina bifida live a normal life?
  • What blood disorders are typical in waiting children?
  • What is Hepatitis B and what are the symptoms?
  • How severe is Hep B?
  • Can a child with Hep B live a normal life?
  • How common are special needs within the general population of children?

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Image Credit: jessicafm