Are you interested in adopting a child with special needs? The process and the outcome may differ significantly from the adoption of a child without special needs. Here are the steps to take to give yourself the best chance for success:
- Work with an agency that specializes in this type of adoption—Don’t work with an agency that hasn’t done special needs adoption. They may not know everything that needs to be done to protect your interests.
- Learn as much as you can about the adoption process itself—How long will it take? What will it cost? How will you be matched with a child? Utilize online resources, seek out support groups and consult the extensive literature available to you.
- Put together a dossier—You’ll want to gather all information and documents that will be required, including tax returns, pictures of family members, health records and even a criminal background check, if you have one.
- Prepare and submit your application—This is the critical moment. Be sure you want to adopt a special needs child. It has the potential to be extremely rewarding, but it can also be a lot of work and can end in heartbreak.
- Wait—Unfortunately, this is a part of the process. Once you’ve submitted your application, you’ll have to wait for what adoption professionals call a "referral," the identification and designation of a specific child available for you to adopt.
- Prepare to travel—If you are adopting internationally, you will likely be required to go to the country of origin for some period of time. If you are adopting domestically, you may be required to travel to the child’s location to complete the adoption process.
Contact Our Office
To set up an appointment, call us in Haddonfield at 856-429-5005 or in Woodbury at 856-845-2555. We can also be reached in Philadelphia at 215-563-2150 or by e-mail. For clients with personal injury or workers’ compensation claims, we offer a free initial consultation, and will represent you on a contingency basis, only charging attorney fees if we recover compensation for you.
Our offices are open weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Weekend and evening appointments may be arranged upon request. We will also come to your home or the hospital, if necessary.