There are 102,000 children in the U.S. foster care system waiting to be adopted. Children with special circumstances (whether they are older children, are siblings, have disabilities, or they have complex medical needs) have an average wait of nearly 4 years in the foster care system.
We are going to focus on those children with disabilities or extensive medical needs who are waiting, meaning they are in the foster care system and are hoping to be placed in a permanent home. Various organizations work to promote the adoption of children with disabilities or extensive medical needs. If you are looking to adopt a child with disabilities, here are some of the organizations that can help.
Adopt America Network specializes in placing older children, mentally or medically fragile children, children who are victims of abuse, and other children with various special circumstances in need of a home. They have a goal of reducing the amount of time these children are in the foster care system.
The Adoption Exchange serves children who have survived neglect, abandonment, or traumatic abuse and may face difficult circumstances as a result. Many of these children have physical disabilities, emotional challenges, and other barriers.
Rainbow Kids is a website that helps people adopt from multiple countries. They specialize in waiting children and children with disabilities.
The NDSAN helps individuals who are interested in adopting a child with Downs syndrome navigate that process, and provides resources for those considering adoption for their baby with Downs syndrome.
This organization provides information and resources for people who are interested in adopting a child with Downs syndrome.
Special Angels Adoption helps families or agencies who are looking to place special needs children find the right families for them.
Love Without Boundaries offers many tools and resources to help families learn about the adoption process, raising children with disabilities, and other topics.
The Cradle is an adoption agency that helps place children in need, provides an on-site nursery for waiting babies, and places children with disabilities.
Area-Specific Adoption Agencies
Cradle of Hope is an adoption organization that helps with domestic and international adoptions. They have a Down Syndrome initiative, which strives to help Chinese children with Down Syndrome get adopted.
Spence-Chapin is unique in that they eliminate professional service fees for families adopting a medically fragile or disabled child, thereby reducing barriers to adoption. The waiting children are from New York or New Jersey and have various circumstances, including neurological disorders, genetic disorders, and others.
New Alternatives for Children provides a broad range of health and social services, including the adoption and foster care of children with disabilities and chronic illnesses throughout New York City.
A Catholic Social Services of Alaska program that focuses on the adoption of children with disabilities and those who have experienced neglect or abuse. These children are in the Alaskan foster care system.
No Hands But Ours offers information and resources for people looking to adopt children with disabilities in China.
- Child Welfare Information by State
- National Council for Adoption General Resources
- Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE)
- Parenting: Adoption Resources
If you are considering adopting a child with a disability, you can find more information on disabilities, resources, and supports on our website.
- Cerebral Palsy (CP)
- Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
- Infant Seizures
- Special Education
- Support Organizations
- Birth Injury Resource Guides