Adopting and caring for a special needs child can be deeply rewarding, but it comes accompanied by a myriad of challenges above and beyond ‘typical’ adoption. With proper education and preparation, however, you and your loved ones can ensure as seamless a transition as possible. Keep the following suggestions in mind as you prepare for the upheaval of special needs adoption:

Educate Yourself

Which symptoms or behaviors typically accompany your future child’s condition? How can you best respond? Read books and studies, watch YouTube videos, and chat with special needs parents. Through self-education, you can get a better sense of the full scope of the responsibility you are about to take on. This will make it easier to adjust to later on.

Adjust Your Expectations

Adoptive parents who expect to immediately build a strong bond with their children often find themselves disappointed. This is even more likely with special needs children, who may struggle to build emotional connections at all — much less with new parents. Don’t despair if that bond doesn’t develop as quickly as expected. Continue to provide loving care, and it may come with time.

Plan to Establish a Routine

Adoptive children often struggle to adapt to sudden changes in their environment. Special needs children, in particular, find these changes overwhelming. A solid routine can provide a valuable element of comfort. Establish critical routines in advance with current household members to minimize the chaos of the eventual adjustment period.

Reach Out to Available Resources

Local resources can help you prepare for your new life. Establish lines of contact early to ease the process later on. Top resources for parents of special needs children include:

If you’re ready to move forward with adoption, be sure to work with a family law attorney who will address the full scope of your concerns. The Brown Law Offices can help; call (763) 323-6555 today to learn more.

Photo of Jason C. Brown Jason C. Brown

Jason Brown is a founding shareholder with the Brown Law Offices, P.A., a northwest Twin Cities divorce and family law firm. He is an honors graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato, and the William Mitchell College of Law. Jason has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters. Media appearances include WCCO Radio, KARE 11 Television, the Star Tribune, USA Today, Time Magazine, Minnesota Monthly and NBC News.