Special Needs Adoption in California

A “special needs” child could mean a child with disabilities, a child with a marginalized racial or ethnic background or a child who’s part of a sibling group. If you want to adopt an older child, then “special needs” adoption could be for you, as well.

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Every child deserves to know the love of a family.

In California and around the world, there are many children with disabilities waiting to be adopted by dedicated families. Although these children may have varying physical, developmental, emotional or medical needs, every child shares a universal need: a stable, safe, loving family.

If you are considering special needs adoption in California, then you can learn more about your options and the services FCCA can provide for you. You can also get more free information now when you contact us online at any time.

How to Adopt a Special Needs Child in California

Many options are available to hopeful parents who are interested in special needs adoption. Whether you are adopting an infant, a child from the foster system or a child born in another country, there is always a need for loving families to open their hearts and homes to these children.

There are three big steps you can take to start your adoption process:

  1. Contact us today to speak with an adoption specialist.
  2. Create your personal adoption plan.
  3. Begin your special needs adoption in California.

Below, we have outlined how a special needs adoption program would work for foster care, international and domestic infant adoption. Whenever you’re ready to get started, click here to talk with us.

Types of Adoption for Children with Special Needs

Special Needs Foster Care in California

The term “special needs” applies to most children in the California foster care system, but this label can be misleading. In foster care, special needs can refer to any of the following:

  • Older children
  • Children with marginalized racial or ethnic backgrounds
  • Children who are part of a sibling group
  • Children with varying medical, physical, mental or emotional needs
  • And more

The waiting children available through our fos-adopt program range in age from infants to teenagers, come from a variety of different backgrounds and have a variety of different needs. FCCA provides extensive adoption training to help you understand the physical and emotional needs of children adopted from foster care.

A special needs child available for adoption in California may be eligible to receive monthly adoption subsidies and MediCal coverage through the Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) until they turn 18. When your adoption is ready to be finalized, FCCA will help you apply for AAP through the child’s placing county.

This type of adoption can change your life and the life of a waiting child. If you feel called to make a difference, you can take your first step by talking with us.

International Adoption for a Special Needs Child in California

Children waiting to be adopted in international orphanages often also have disabilities. In some cases, it is difficult to obtain the full medical histories of these children due to limited access to birth parent information.

Depending on the country you are adopting from and the types of disabilities you are open to, adopting a special needs infant or child may speed up the referral process because fewer families are waiting to adopt these children.  

In addition to physical, medical and developmental needs, many children adopted internationally face emotional and bonding challenges, such as Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Any hopeful parent adopting overseas should be prepared for the possibility that their child may develop this.

Some international adoption programs, including FCCA’s Hong Kong adoption program, focus exclusively on the placement of children with disabilities. The waiting children in this program range in age from 2-8 years old, and many have Down syndrome.

Many of these children have experienced drastic challenges early in their life, and what they need more than anything is a safe and loving family. If you are interested in adopting a child with Down syndrome or other disabilities, then please fill out our online contact form whenever you’re ready to talk to us.

Domestic Adoption and Special Needs in California

Although many private adoption programs focus on the placement of healthy newborns, there are always many special needs babies available for adoption.

Families that are open to a variety of adoption situations, including children with disabilities, may have a shorter adoption wait time. If you feel prepared to provide the care that a child with disabilities may need, then remaining open to children with varying levels of needs is another way to live out your belief that every child deserves a family.

Considerations for Families Choosing Special Needs Adoption in CA

Before you decide whether to proceed with a special needs adoption in California, there are some important considerations to be aware of:

  • Keep an open mind. Many families think of severe physical, medical or developmental challenges when they hear the phrase special needs. However, this is a broad term; most disabilities are manageable. A child with a disability can still live an incredible, fulfilling life — especially with the support of loving parents. Do thorough research and read about other families’ experiences before ruling out special needs adoption. 
  • Be honest about your capabilities. It is OK to be honest about the level of care you are equipped to provide. As you learn about different types of disabilities, decide as a family what you can accommodate. Ask yourselves whether you can provide the time, effort and specialized care required by certain types of disabilities, and do what you can to prepare yourself to meet those needs. For example, if you are considering adopting a Deaf child, you may wish to start learning American Sign Language.
  • Find a community. Adopting and parenting a child with disabilities can be overwhelming at times. For that reason, it is important to have a support system of other families who understand the unique joys and challenges you are facing. Consider joining an online support group, and search for resources and organizations that are dedicated to families like yours.

Find a Special Needs Adoption Agency

As you consider the types of adoption opportunities that are right for your family, continue to learn about special needs adoption and the challenges and rewards it can offer. If you are interested in adopting a child with disabilities, FCCA can provide the information and services you need to get started. Contact us online today to get more adoption information now. We would love to help you out!