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Adoption of Special Needs Children

Adoption of Special Needs Children

In the United States, many thousands of children with special needs are waiting for permanent homes. The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-89) has focused more attention on finding homes for children with special needs and making sure they receive the post adoption services they need.

What does “special needs” mean?

Children with special needs range in age from infants to 18 years. In general, some of the guidelines to identify children with special needs are as follows:

 Physical or health problems;

 Older;

 Members of ethnic or racial minorities;

 A history of abuse or neglect;

 Emotional problems;

 Have siblings and need to be adopted as a group;

 Test positive for HIV;

 Documented conditions that may lead to future problems;

 Some form of prenatal exposure to drugs or alcohol.

Who may adopt a child with special needs?

Adopting a child depends upon your commitment, skills, and preparation to parent a child. The agencies may differ slightly in their specific requirements for adoptive parents. When adopting a special needs child the age and marital status requirements can be less restrictive when compared to the adoption requirements to adopt a child who is not considered special needs.

In a special needs adoption, both married and single prospective parents are considered with appropriate age ranging from 18 to 50 (or older). The age of the child involved in the possible adoption and the situation of the potential adoptive parent is taken into consideration by the agency. Divorce, physical challenges, or a history of personal counseling will not necessarily disqualify someone from becoming an adoptive parent. Potential adoptive parents do not need to be wealthy or even own their own home.

If you are concerned about whether or not you qualify to adopt a special needs child, please get in touch so we can answer your questions. Experienced adoption lawyers are ready to assist you at Arizona Family Law Attorneys.


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