You’ve just gotten the news from your doctor: Your baby will be born with something that you never imagined — a life‐changing disability.
It’s one thing to know about a disability and prepare yourself in advance, but as a new mother, you may find that the challenges are not what you expected. In this situation, considering the process of “giving a disabled baby up” for adoption to provide a better life for your baby can be all the more heartbreaking.
You may be thinking to yourself:
- Can I put a handicapped child up for adoption?
- Will there be a family that is patient and kind and can provide a better future for my child with special needs?
- What will people think of my choice?
- Will my child know how much I love them?
These are all valid concerns to have if you’re thinking about placing a baby with disabilities for adoption. If these questions describe some of your worries and fears, read on to learn more about the process of “giving a special needs baby up” for adoption — and how you can provide your child the life they deserve.
Are There Families Willing to Raise a Special Needs Child?
No matter where you live, there are many families that would be happy to give your child the life and love that you’ve always wanted him or her to have.
If you’re considering giving up a child with disabilities, know that you have the right to choose every aspect of your adoption plan — including finding the perfect family for your baby. An adoption professional will always identify families who are prepared for and excited to raise your child, regardless of medical condition.
To help you find the right adoptive family, you can start thinking about questions such as:
- Where do I want my child to grow up?
- What kind of education should he or she have?
- How often do I want to be able to see my child?
Before you decide on a family, you can look at their adoptive family profile online. These will give you a better insight into their lives and allow you to envision your child included in their family.
No matter what your child’s needs are, you will find the perfect family for your baby. And, no matter how long it takes, your adoption specialist will be with you every step of the way.
Which Adoption Agencies Can Help if I’m “Giving Up” a Child With Disabilities?
Adoption agencies across the country place newborns of all races, genders, and ethnicities. Your baby will be no exception, even if he or she is born with a disability. You will not have to worry about any kind of discrimination during your adoption process.
With that being said, there are some adoption agencies that can provide better services during the process of putting a special needs baby up for adoption than others. Here are some adoption agencies that can provide some great adoption resources for children with disabilities:
- Special Angels Adoption
- America World Adoption
- Natural Down Syndrome Adoption Network
What is the Process of Putting a Disabled Baby Up for Adoption Before They’re Born?
The process of placing a disabled baby up for adoption is very similar to any newborn adoption. You will be in charge every step of the way, and you get to shape your adoption to your own preferences.
While every adoption is different, this is generally what you can expect the process of placing a handicapped baby up for adoption to look like:
Step 1: You’ll start by contacting an adoption specialist that will listen to your situation and provide free information on what to do next.
Step 2: If you decide that adoption is the best choice for you and your baby, you’ll be asked to fill out your social and medical history forms and list your preferences for an adoptive family.
Step 3: Once you’ve returned all the forms to your adoption specialist and you’ve picked out the right family, you’ll start getting to know your child’s future parents.
Step 4: The next steps is creating your hospital plan. Your delivery process will likely be the first time that you meet the adoptive family in person, and you get to determine how this meeting will go.
Step 5: Once your baby is born, you’ll sign your consent to the adoption. This step will officially terminate your parental rights.
Of course, each adoption is unique, and some of the steps can look different if you’re placing a baby with disabilities for adoption. Fortunately, your adoption professional will be there to support you every step of the way.
Can I Put a Handicapped Baby Up for Adoption After They’re Born?
Yes, this is still an option for you.
However, there are some unique challenges to placing an older child for adoption depending on their age. Some of these challenges include:
- Less time to find a family
- Less access to financial assistance
- Less time for counseling
That’s not to say that these aspects should stop you from considering adoption if you’re “giving up” a child with disabilities. These are just some aspects that your adoption specialist will inform you of when you get started.
Can I Have a Relationship with My Child After the Adoption?
Many women that go through the adoption process today choose to maintain a relationship with their child. All of this is possible through something called an open adoption. With it, you can decide exactly how much contact you’d prefer to have with your child.
To determine your contact preferences, you’ll want to ask yourself these questions:
- Do you want to send pictures and letter throughout the year?
- Would you like to spend time with them in person?
- Do you want to have a relationship with the adoptive family?
All of this is possible in an open adoption.
Many birth mothers have strong feelings of grief and loss after the adoption. This can be especially true if you’re “giving your disabled child up” for adoption because you feel that it’s the only way you can give them the best life possible. While these feelings may never go away, choosing to have a close relationship with your child can help ease your pain.
If you’re looking for more information on the process of putting a special needs baby up for adoption, here are some national agencies that may be able to help: