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Adopting Kids with Special Needs


Special Needs Adoption


Where to Start
General Information
Cleft Lip or Palate
Sensory Processing Disorder

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

 Waiting Children


Where to Start:

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General Information on Adopting Children with Special Needs:

  • The University of Chicago Adoption Center has series of in-depth videos detailing the adoption process for children with specific special needs, including HIV, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and others.
  • Frontline has released a report about the sharp rise in psychiatric diagnoses and medication among children called The Medicated Child. The report and a parent's guide can be found here.
  • Rainbow Kids has a great database that allows you to search for children available world wide for adoption (including the US) by handicapping condition. They list about 50 handicaps and provide information, support groups, and pictures (when allowed by the birth country).
  • Rainbow Kids has done it again. They have a list of all the agencies that have special needs adoption programs in China.  They identify which agencies have access to the shared list and which agencies also have a agency specific (or dedicated) list. If these terms mean nothing to you, then check out the following Creating a Family video on Adopting a Child with Special Needs from China.
  • Adopting Older Children by Ellen Singer. Good online essays.
  • No Hands But Ours Focused primarily on adopting kids with special needs from China. Great site with stories from families that have adopted, information, and listings of children currently available for adoption.
  • Love Without Boundaries and Rainbow Kids teamed up to create a Special Needs Manual on CD to help prospective adoptive parents understand specific special needs. There are photos and explanations of 75 conditions. It can be purchased from Love Without Boundaries.
  • First Signs is a fabulous first-stop website if you have concerns that your child is not developing normally. First Signs is dedicated to educating parents and professionals about the early warning signs of autism and related developmental and behavioral disorders, as well as learning disabilities. This site covers early warning signs, screenings, and treatment. As a bonus they also have a nifty page on understanding your insurance coverage. Great site!
  • Reece's Rainbow's mission is to find homes for orphans with Down's syndrome. They are not an agency, rather they specialize in identifying children with Down's syndrome throughout the world in need of adoption. They also have a terrific support network for post adoption.
  • Positively Orphaned is dedicated to assisting people who are interested in helping HIV positive orphans find families.
  • Children Awaiting Parents is a national non-profit that recruits foster and adoptive parents for special needs children. 
  • Check out this great list of links to the Top 100 Special Needs Resources on the web.
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 Cleft Lip or Palate:

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Sensory Processing Disorders:

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