The Committee on Adoption and Dependent Care reaffirms its position that adoption is a positive social process that provides a family for children whose parents cannot rear them. A permanent family is a primary need of all young children and the majority of older children. The handicapped child is also best served by a stable and secure placement which, in turn, offers ideal conditions for effective medical treatment of the child's particular condition.
The needs of the child have become the center of the adoption process; this replaces the earlier emphasis on meeting the needs of the childless couple. Today, candidates for adoption include children who are school-aged, of mixed or minority heritage, mentally, physically, or emotionally handicapped; or brothers and sisters who need to be placed together. Although many couples stifi want to adopt a newborn infant, many other couples are opening their homes to "hard to place" children.
The factors that will made the adoption of these "special" children a reality are as follows.
SUITABLE ADOPTIVE PARENTS
Families who adopt "special needs" children experience unusual demands on their parenting skills; they must extend themselves beyond the usual time and effort required of most parents. Often these families have had experience with handicaps. For example, parents who raise children with birth defects such as Down syndrome are increasingly choosing to adopt a child with a similar special need; this is proving beneficial to all concerned.
TRAINED SOCIAL WORKERS AND SPECIAL AGENCIES
In the last six or seven years, special agencies have been developed to care for the needs of the hard-to-place child.
- Copyright © 1981 by the American Academy of Pediatrics