Special Needs Children Adoption
Adoption of Special Needs Children
All authorities and agencies involved in adoption of special needs children shall expeditiously process their cases so that such children can join their families at the earliest.
Category of Special Needs children.
- For the purpose of adoption, 'special needs' children may be categorized as under:-.
- Children having visible and or serious medical conditions-mental or physical
- Older Children
- Siblings and
- Extremely low birth-weight children (to be certified by a Government Medical Officer)
- A child suffering from a disease or deformity which does not have serious long term residual effects and which can be corrected, shall not be categorised as a "special needs child".
- Children above five years of age shall be treated as special needs children as placement of such children in adoption is difficult.
Preparing Special Needs Children for Adoption
Note : Special needs children are older children in many cases and they may be fixed in their ideas and attitudes making them inflexible and they may face serious adjustments problems.
- It is the role of the Specialised Adoption Agency to prepare the special needs child for adoption.
- In case of special needs children, their ability to handle the change in care giver, environment, quality of life and the like factors may not be equal to that of other children.
- It is essential that the Specialised Adoption Agency make special efforts to prepare the child for adoption.
- Older children should be shown photographs of the adoptive family and carefully counselled to prepare them mentally and emotionally.
- The child should be sent to educational institute in the interim period and regular habits of toilet and hygiene should be inculcated in the child.
- In order to start the bonding process, the Specialised Adoption Agency should encourage the PAP(s) to share their family albums, photographs and small gifts and letters with the child.
- If the child is going to a foreign country, the child should be taught the language of the adoptive parents, as far as possible.
PAP(s) for Special Needs children.
- PAP(s) who are willing to adopt a child with special needs will get priority in adoption and the Specialised Adoption Agency shall maintain a list of all such PAP(s) facilitating the placement of special needs children in adoption.
- While maintaining the list of PAPs, the following should be kept in mind, namely:-
- older and experienced parents tend to be more committed to parent a child with special needs and thus are more likely to have the skills, patience, financial means and parenting experience;
- parents who have had experience, either though the field they work in, or because they have had some exposure to the specific medical condition, may be better equipped to parent children with special need;
- the HSR shall reflect –
- the motivation and ability of the PAP(s) to adopt such a child;
- Whether the PAP(s) have the financial means to handle the special needs of the child;
- Special needs children should be shown for acceptance to only those PAPs, who have expressly given preference or willingness to adopt such children.
- The Specialised Adoption Agency shall organise orientation sessions for the PAP(s) to enable them to understand issues relating to special needs children and help them take an informed decision.
- The PAP(s) and the foreign adoption agencies in case of inter-country adoption) should be given detailed child study reports, medical data and counseling reports by the Recognised Indian Placement Agency without concealing any facts.
- The Recognised Indian Placement Agency (RIPA) also called Special Adoption Agency should give information on the child's developmental milestone, additional medical tests if required and answers to queries that the prospective parents may raise concerning these children.
- The child study report should portray the child in a positive manner and at the same time be realistic in the medical condition.