New Website Launch: Adopt Special Needs
The number of children being internationally adopted has dropped over 50% in the last decade, for a myriad of reasons. Many orphanages overseas, which used to be filled with “healthy” babies, are now home primarily to children born with medical needs. For many potential adoptive parents, the thought of adopting a child with special needs can often seem overwhelming. LWB is excited to announce the launch of our new ADOPT SPECIAL NEEDS (ASN) website to help educate parents about the most common needs seen in children waiting for families.
All of us working on the ground in China have seen firsthand the changing population of orphaned children there who are in need of permanent homes. As we have written about previously (see, “Why International Adoption Still Matters“), China has seen a marked increase in birth defects in the last decade, and now many orphanages are primarily filled with children with congenital or acquired special needs. China’s shared adoption list is filled with thousands of waiting children who have a vast assortment of medical issues, and many of the kids have waited months or even years without a family truly considering their file.
I will be the first one to admit how daunting the thought of adopting a child with specials might seem: during my first adoption in 1999, all of my paperwork clearly stated the wish for a healthy baby. During that period of international adoption, approximately 95% of other parents made that request as well.
Once I began working in Chinese orphanages and meeting the children in person, however, I quickly realized that every child I met was so deserving of a home. I think there is a lot of fear of the unknown, and so a lot of potential families might think, “Oh I could never handle that medical need.” But then you meet these kids in person and you think, “I would give anything to bring you home because you are simply AMAZING.” Thankfully, I was personally blessed to do just that in 2006 when I adopted my son TJ, who was born with a congenital limb difference.
All of us at LWB hope that this new website will help take some of the fear and uncertainty out of the adoption process and help encourage more people to consider adopting a child who is waiting. I really think that many people hear the term ‘special needs’ and immediately picture a child who will be chronically ill or never live independently. The reality, however, is that there are tens of thousands of orphaned children around the world who would bless anyone’s life, regardless of their needs.
Thank you for helping us spread the news that our new adoption website is now live!
May many more children receive the wonderful news that they are CHOSEN.
~Amy Eldridge, Chief Executive Officer