Special Needs Adoption Events
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Special Needs Adoption Program

Facts, Questions & Answers about Adoption

Adoption is a method by which adults become legal parents of children not born to them. Once the adoption is finalized, the child is yours and is entitled to everything that a biological child would inherit.

The majority of children waiting for adoptive families are:

  • Black children over the age of 3;
  • White children over the age of 10;
  • Physically, mentally and emotionally handicapped children of all ages;
  • Sibling groups of 3 or more brothers and sisters to be placed together.

Why do children become available for adoption.

There are many reasons children are placed in foster care and become available for adoption. Three of the main factors are:

  • mother is unmarried and unable to provide for her child(ren);
  • the child(ren) have been neglected or abused and the court takes them out of the home and gives temporary custody to an agency;
  • there is a breakdown in the family, such as mental illness, alcoholism or other problem(s).

If it is impossible to overcome the family problems and return the child(ren), and there is strong supporting evidence, the Court will legally free the child for a nurturing adoptive home.

What are the requirements for Adopting a Special Needs Child?

Each family is considered on an individual basis. With the assistance of social workers, families are provided with information that will assist them in assessing their desire to adopt. Despite what you may have heard, you do not have to have a religious affiliation, you can be a working parent and you do not have to be married. There is no fee involved to become eligible to adopt.

Basic eligibility requirements are:

  • Suitable living arrangements.
    You do not have to have your home. You can live in an apartment or a mobile home as long as you have sufficient space for another child. The child does not have to have a room of his/her own,

  • Reasonably good health.
    The agency must be reasonably sure that you will be able to raise the child to maturity. A medical examination and a report from a physician is required.
  • Adequate income.
    You do not need a large income or bank account. Economic circumstances should satisfactorily meet the needs of the family and the child(ren).
  • Age.
    Legally, you must be 21 years of age, but generally your age should be within the age range usual for biological parents of a child that age. You can adopt a child even if you have biological children.
  • Stable marriage.
    Parents are needed who are willing to love and care for a child as their own and accept the child(ren) as he/she is. If there are two parents, it is important that both parents want to adopt the child(ren) and the family unit is a stable one.
  • Flexibility.
    Parents are needed who can "give and take", have patience and a sense of humor. It is important that these adoptive parents be willing and able to use community resources when they need help with their child(ren). For example, if a child has had a very insecure early childhood, they may need counseling at later developmental stages such as in the adolescent period.

How long will it take?
The length of dime for preparation and approval is minimally 4 months. The length of time it takes for placement depends on the type of child desired.

What is involved in the adoption process besides the medical and financial requirements?
Home visits, the group preparation sessions and/or individual sessions to understand the feelings and personality of the applicants and to prepare them to be parents of a child with special needs. This is necessary to help the adoptive parents determine the type of child(ren) they will be able to parent most effectively.

Is background information available on the child - What may I expect?
One should expect information on the biological parents - height, weight, age, health. education and other pertinent information; also information about the child(ren)'s placements, medical and developmental history. If an older child is being placed, the information would be expanded to include eating, sleeping, play habits, fears, relationships, school experiences and all pertinent data. All information the agency has is shared with the adoptive parents.

What kind of post placement support services are available?
Counseling is offered for adoptive parents and child(ren) to work through problem areas. Alumni parents (those who have adopted previously) are available to share experiences and knowledge. CHR is able to assist you in locating appropriate support services.

May I take a foster child into my home and then adopt him/her?
Foster care is temporary care. The goal of foster care is to reunite the child with his/her birth parents. In the event of the plan for the child(ren) becomes adoption, foster parents may apply to adopt. However, these families will be considered along with other interested families. In selecting adoptive families, the best interest of the child is always of the utmost importance.

Do agencies do transracial placements?
Yes, however, it is the goal of this agency to seek families of the same race for each child available for adoption.

Any more questions? Call the Statewide Toll Free number for the Special Needs Adoption Program at 1-800-432-9346 or contact your local Social Services Office.

SNAP Office - Lexington SNAP Office - Louisville
710 West High Street 908 West Broadway
Lexington, KY 40508 Louisville, KY 40203
Cheryl Burnett Lynda Price
Sheila Faus Judi Spooner
Virginia Sturgeon Jim Wilson
606)246-2256 (502)595-4303

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