The Federal Government does not have an official definition of "special needs;" therefore, each State defines the term differently for purposes of children's eligibility to receive Federal Adoption Assistance when adopted from the U.S. foster care system. Although some children with special needs may suffer from physical or mental disabilities, not all children with special needs require special education. Children may also qualify as having special needs if they are an older youth, from a specific ethnic background, part of a sibling group, or have a medical condition. In this section, you will find resources for families that have adopted children who qualify as having special needs.
Adopting a Child With Special Needs
Special Needs Alliance
Discusses the adoption of children with special needs, financial assistance, medical assistance, and other things to know before considering adoption.
Search AdoptUsKids Photolisting
Gives access to the only national database of thousands of children available for adoption.
Special Needs Adoption
Children's Disabilities Information
Includes a range of adoption articles addressing disability issues.
Special Needs in Adoption: Special Needs Myths
Holt International Magazine
Lists some myths surrounding special needs adoption and the children who are waiting for families and explains why they are false.
Special Needs in Children
Rainbow Kids Adoption and Child Welfare Advocacy
Provides information about the adoption of a child with a medical or developmental condition.
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Child Welfare Information Gateway
What Does "Special Needs" Mean in Adoption?
National Council for Adoption
Describes special needs adoption and provides some definitions of special needs when it comes to children involved with foster care and adoption.