Adopting a disabled child
Could you adopt Malachi?
We are looking for a new family for Malachi. Could you be his new family? Why not find out more?
Children with disabilities ranging from babies to teenagers may be placed for adoption. Sometimes their birth parents may feel unable to care for them or they may be placed for adoption for reasons which are not connected with their disability.
Some of these children have learning difficulties such as those with Down's syndrome whilst others may have been physically disabled from birth or suffered an accident or injury that has resulted in them being disabled.
In 1998 the Department of Health found that within every 100,00 of the population the incidence of some of these disabilities were:
with a mild learning difficulty 2,000
with a moderate / severe learning difficulty 300 - 400
with significant challenging behaviour 115 - 360
with additional mental health problems 115 - 1,200
with impaired hearing 920 - 960
with epilepsy 230 - 260
with cerebral palsy 230 - 260
This tells us that children with such disabilities are not a rarity both within the general population and amongst the children for whom adoption placements are being sought.
Whatever a child's disability they, like all other children, need the love and security that family life can offer. Disabled children are capable of offering a great deal of love and affection in return and are just as rewarding to their carers as a child without disabilities.
Many disabled children will be able to lead independent or semi-independent lives when they are older whilst some others will continue to need to be cared for throughout their lives. One of the issues which you will want to think about and consider with their social worker is how the child may be supported over the long term.
Adopters of disabled children need understanding and commitment but they do not have to be "very special people". We hear from those who adopt disabled children just how 'ordinary' they are -"We don't have any special powers or abilities. We just love children and our adopted youngster just gives us so much more love in return".
We believe that many more adopters are capable of providing a happy, stable and supportive family to a disabled child than is generally recognised. Even the prospective adopters themselves may not think of considering adopting a disabled child.
All adoption agencies approve both single adopters and couples, with children and without children to adopt disabled children. They can give financial assistance in the form of adoption and other allowances to those who decide to adopt a disabled child.
For further details please call us on the FREEPHONE line.