Considering Creating an Adoption Plan

One option that may not be discussed as often, or at as much length, is the option of placing your baby with a genetic condition or birth defect for adoption.  Many people are not aware that placing a child with a genetic condition for adoption is even a realistic option.  However, it is a choice that many individuals or couples make if they feel like they do not have the resources to raise a child with a genetic condition but would still like to continue the pregnancy.

Do people adopt babies with genetic conditions and why?

There are many families hoping and waiting to adopt a child with a genetic condition. While there is more information about individuals/couples who are waiting to adopt a child with Down syndrome, there are many adoption organizations throughout the U.S. who have prospective parents willing to adopt children with other genetic conditions or birth defects.

The most commonly known reasons why people choose to adopt a child with Down syndrome include the following1.

  • They feel equipped with the resources to do so
  • Previous positive experience with an individual with Down syndrome
  • Belief that adopting a child with Down syndrome would benefit the rest of their family

Online Resources

National Down Syndrome Adoption Network

The National Down Syndrome Adoption Network (NDSAN) is an adoption program that provides information and support to birth parents who are thinking about an adoption plan.  If you are pregnant and learn that your baby has Down syndrome and you are considering placing the baby for adoption, this is a wonderful resource. This organization has helped with hundreds of adoptions of infants/children with Down syndrome.

Special Angels Adoption

Special Angels Adoption provides adoption agencies with access to a large database of families longing to adopt children with special needs.

CHASK

CHASK is a matching service, not an adoption agency, that helps point birth parents with special needs children to prospective adoptive parents.

Jewish Children’s Adoption Network

Jewish Children’s Adoption Network is the only Jewish adoption exchange in the Western Hemisphere.  They are not an adoption agency, but a matching service facilitating the matching of birth parents with prospective adoptive parents. They services birth parents who are waiting to place a child with some type of physical or intellectual disability or genetic condition.

Publications

Shattered Dreams—Lonely Choices: Birthparents of Babies with Disabilities Talk About Adoption, by Joanne Finnegan, 1993.

References

1) Lindh, HL, Steele R, Page-Steiner J, Donnenfeld AE. 2007. Characteristics and perspectives of families waiting to adopt a child with Down syndrome. Genet Med. 9(4):235-40.