Providing a Home for a Child with Special Needs: Lake Forest Adoption Lawyer Explains the Benefits
“As with all children, those with special needs deserve a loving family and a promising future. Those who cannot help themselves especially need our help,” notes Lake Forest adoption lawyer James Ballidis
Given their unique circumstances, children with special needs often wait longer to be placed with new families. Promising a brighter future to one of these children is one of the greatest gifts one can give, with the benefits proving as great for the child as the prospective parents—starting with the adoption process.
The desire to provide a safe and loving home for a child often comes from the heart, and those with the biggest hearts choose children with special needs. The benefits for prospective parents of adopting a special needs child are immediate: giving a home to a child who might otherwise grow up in foster care, financial assistance, and a shorter wait time than for those adopting infants or children without special needs. There are, of course, challenges, too.
Our attorneys at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis, and Leslie will guide you during the adoption process, ensuring you experience the benefits and helping you through the challenges. Below you will find important information about special needs adoption. If you have questions or would like the help of one of our Lake Forest adoption attorneys, please call 1-888-752-7474 for a free consultation.
Who Are Children with Special Needs?
Special needs children are not confined to the popular definition given by our society. Special needs encompasses any condition that makes home life with a particular family more challenging, and includes many more issues and needs of the child than simply the child’s educational or developmental challenges. Special needs include physical demands, ethnic concerns, siblings that should remain together, language barriers, emotional demands and needs, abused children that need special care and attention and also children from distressed backgrounds. See this important fact sheet for a comprehensive list of special needs children.
Special Needs Adoptions May Be Funded by Agencies and Government
You may qualify for federal adoption assistance to bring a special needs child into your home. An experienced Lake Forest adoption lawyer at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie can help you to better understand what qualifies as a special needs adoption and to complete all requirements to become eligible for Title IV-E adoption assistance. Call us for a free consultation at 1-888-752-7474.
Definition of Special Needs Adoption
While the federal government provides funding for special needs adoptions, each state has its own definition of “special needs.” In California, a child can be eligible for a “special needs” adoption if:
- The child is at least three years old.
- The child’s race, color, ethnicity or language creates a barrier to adoption.
- The child has a family history of medical or behavioral problems that have or may adversely affect his/her development.
- The child needs to be adopted with siblings.
In addition to these requirements, section 473(c) of the Social Security Act mandates that the child be precluded from returning to his/her parents and that an attempt must have been made to place the child in the past. Finally, to be eligible for adoption assistance, the special needs child must be in the United States. If a parent is considering international adoption, “special needs” is limited in many ways, typically not just to children who are hard to place, but instead to children with actual physical or mental disabilities. No federal funding is available for the international adoption of a special needs child.
You May Need Help with a Special Needs Adoption
Bringing a child with special needs into your family can be as challenging as it is rewarding. A Lake Forest adoption lawyer is familiar with the problems adoptive parents often encounter and can provide the resources and support to overcome them. We will also ensure you experience the benefits of adopting a special needs child—both in the present and the future.
If you would like our help, call 1-888-752-7474 to speak with one of our attorneys free of charge.