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Just What are Special Needs?


In intercountry adoption, the numbers of children labeled with "special needs" far outnumber those with a diagnosis of healthy.  These children are among the most vulnerable and need the security of a safe, committed and loving family.  The words "special needs" can easily elicit many images which don't accurately portray the children who wait.  They are first and foremost "kids" who need a permanent family.  We encourage you to take the time to really learn about the needs of these children and how you can welcome them into your family.   

“Special needs” is a category covering social, medical, physical, and developmental challenges. Children may be described to have special needs when they are:

  • Older than age 5.

  • Part of a sibling group that needs to be adopted together.

  • Have a history of trauma.

  • Children with identified physical, developmental, or emotional delays/disabilities.

Identified physical needs can include:

  • Being a Boy

  • Bone, Muscle, and Joint Conditions

  • Ear, Eye, and Head Conditions

  • Feeding / Colon Conditions

  • Heart / Blood Conditions

  • Infectious Diseases

  • Neurologic Conditions

  • Reproductive / Urologic Conditions

  • Skin Conditions
    We encourage you to visit Love Without Boundaries web site for reference information about each of these categories of needs.  When you are exploring adoption of a child with special needs it will also be important that you talk with families who have adopted a child with the need, do independent research, and talk to medical professionals who can guide you to understand short and long term care required for a particular need.