When my husband and I decided to pursue a domestic adoption, specifically children with disabilities, we quickly realized that many agencies didn’t work with this population. After lots of internet searching, we were grateful to find two organizations that were passionate about helping families adopt children with disabilities.
After we completed our first home study, we registered with Special Angels Adoption. Once registered, we received emails about birth families that they were working with. We let them know if we were interested in pursuing a specific situation, and they shared our profile with the birth mother. Our son’s birth family had shared his information with Special Angels, and when we registered, saw his picture, and learned a little more about his diagnosis, we knew we wanted more information about adopting him.
Their website says, “We provide a way for special needs babies and adoptive families who are willing, thrilled and highly experienced to parent children with challenges to find each other.” And they did provide a way!
Special Angels initially facilitated conversations between us and the birth family through a phone call with an 800# so we didn’t have each other’s personal information. Once we all decided it “was a match,” they recommended resources (a local agency and attorney) to complete the adoption privately. They were available and helpful throughout the whole process of bringing our son home.
When we were home-study ready again, we registered with the National Down Syndrome Adoption Network. The NSDAN helps adoptive families match with birth parents or foster care situations, “planning for a loving future” for children with Down syndrome. They help families navigate the adoption process, from start to finish. Again, they are not an agency but your profile becomes part of their registry. After submitting your home study for their data base, they ask you further questions to help assess when to share your profile. Families aren’t matched in the order that they receive your paperwork but by specifics that would be a good match for you and the child.
Although we ended up adopting our son privately through our adoption agency, the NSDAN director stayed in touch with us. She continued to be a very helpful resource and encourager through the process.
Both of these organizations work extensively with the birth mothers to make sure they have all the resources and information to parent their child. If a birth mother still decides to make an adoption plan, both Special Angels and NSDAN support them through and after the process.
We were grateful to find organizations that had the same heart and passion as us.
Special Angels Adoption and National Down Syndrome Adoption Network help families adopt children with disabiltiies.