Many people who think about adoption think about bringing home a perfectly healthy baby from the hospital. This is what happens in a good number of adoptions, but there are other situations that might also occur. Some individuals decide that they are going to adopt a child who has special needs. This is a situation that each parent needs to think about carefully to ensure they are able to handle the specific needs of the child.
There are many things that might lead to a child being considered one who has special needs. In many cases, this factor is a health-related issue. The child might have physical disabilities, emotional problems, test positive for HIV or other conditions or they might have been exposed to drugs or alcohol. Some children who are considered special needs might have been abused or neglected or may have a diagnosis or condition that is likely going to cause problems in the future.
Sometimes, the classification of special needs might not have anything to do with the child's emotional or health status. Older children and families of children might fall under this broad umbrella. Essentially, any situation other than a baby who is perfectly healthy and who doesn't have anyone else who needs to be adopted into the same family is considered to have special needs.
Adopting a special needs child needs to be considered on a case-by-case basis. Think about the requirements of caring for the child before you decide if you can handle it or not. In some instances, you will need extra resources, time and support.