Did you know that approximately 40 percent of children waiting for an adoptive family have impairment or some form of special need or disability.
If you think about a child with a disability, what comes to mind? Is it a picture of difficulties and obstacles? Do you imagine that you will not be able to cope if caring for a disabled child, that it will be too difficult, too much of a commitment? You might envisage frequent medical appointments, complicated care arrangements, or a child unable to play or communicate with you. All of these things can seem quite daunting and may perhaps frighten people off from considering caring for a disabled child. For many people, disability can carry an overwhelming label, which obscures the actual child within. Many parents of a child with a disability would agree that the special bond between you really makes you appreciate the small things; making each personal achievement of the child an amazing milestone.
Sally and Adrian, who adopted through Families for Children
adoption agency, talk about their experience of adopting their gorgeous daughter Jasmine:
Having given respite care for children with disabilities for several years and our sons about to leave home, we decided we could offer a permanent home to a child. The adoption process can be exhausting at times but with the support of a great social worker we were matched with Jasmine, who’s beautiful, has autism and severe learning disabilities. She has given us a new lease of life since being placed with us. She can be challenging, but it’s amazing when she gives us big cuddles and smiles. We go for walks and Jasmine loves the rain and puddles! We have never regretted our decision to adopt Jasmine and would recommend anyone thinking of adoption to find out more about adopting a child with disabilities as there are so many children needing a permanent family.
But as Sally and Adrian mention, adopting a child with disabilities can be demanding, so knowing that there is great support out there from your social worker is really important. Check with your adoption agency if they will offer a lifetime of support for you and your adoptive child. Some are better at post adoption support than others, so please check this first. Sally and Adrian adopted Jasmine through Families for Children based in Buckfastleigh, Devon, partly because they offered lifetime support for children with disabilities. They do this in conjunction with their specialist adoption agency, Family for Me. They work closely with Local Authorities and health professionals to help assess the social, emotional and physical needs of each child with disabilities, ensuring that families are made aware of their entitlements and the services available to them to meet their child’s needs.
Adopting a child with disabilities may be daunting, but remember, your adoption agency will be there to help you at Every Step. There are only two things a child with disabilities needs; your love, and hope. Not your sympathy!
There are always hundreds of children with disabilities looking for a forever family, so if you’d like to find out more about adopting a child with disabilities, then please speak to Cat on 01364 400064 or visit the Family for Me website.