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Why you should consider adopting a child with special needs?

Not every adoptive family can care for a child with special needs, but if you have never given it a thought before, I am here to say you should! In order to get some perspectives here are the passionate views of a range of adoptive parents who currently care for children with special needs, and why the experience will change your life for the better. You may have never considered caring for a child with special needs but should because they deserve a loving home (Sarah)…because they are forgotten. (Michael)… because they are creative, wonderful human beings with great things to offer society when provided with a loving understanding home. (Gary)

You shouldn’t consider caring for a SEND child if you are expecting that perfect family formation. You should if you believe in attachment, restoring your mental health. If you believe advocating for children is important and you are strong enough to fight for them. You should if you are committed to learning about every hurdle this child has tumbled over and the ones they need help jumping over. Simply put, because you have a lot of love to give. To any child that may become yours. (Tracey)   

  1. To give a child a chance of a brilliant life.

To enable a special needs child to put down roots, have someone who is constantly in their corner and someone they can rely on. Fear of the unknown is such a large part of why SEND babies and children are bypassed, sadly. (Gem) Love them all, GOD’s blessings, everyone is special. (Chuck)

  • To love a child who so benefits from your love

My little girl has special needs and I wouldn’t change a thing apart from all the rubbish she went through before we were lucky to have her steal our hearts. (Becky) Fabulous, I’m a big advocate. My husband and I have 4 adopted children with additional needs. (Rosie)

  • To be central to a SEND child building their skills and confidence and build yours to stand up and fight for my child.

The past 15 years have seen my son grow from a completely disconnected 21 year old with Attention Deficit, issues in everything you could think of except sleep, to an amazing, bright, talented popular 17 year old who is working on his A levels ready to apply to university. At the same time as we were on his journey I became a better person, I found strength I never knew I had, I found my voice to stand up and fight for my child, and I found a confidence in myself that had never been there before. (Joanne) We adopted, and our son has suspected PDA, SPA, ADHD and FASD. (Allie).

  • To be proud parents

I have adopted twice. One of our children is special needs and he is the most beautiful child, he gives so much and we are truly proud to be his mummy and daddy. Children with special needs are often overlooked but it would be great if people could see beyond a disability, get more information before considering saying no.  (Lisa)

  • For their siblings

As the sibling of someone with severe learning disabilities and autism, I would say having that type of love in your life is different to any other love in your life and a true blessing. Someone who is non-verbal but chooses you when they are scared, cuddles you when they are poorly and gives eye contact to connect. (Bryony)

  • To develop your own skills

Because having something that makes life a bit harder, makes you more than, not less than. These kids are loving, lovable and have tonnes to offer the world (Shama) I have learned more about myself (positive and negative) and more about values and life from my autistic son being part of our family than I ever thought possible. (Michele)

  • To care for children who brings you joy

Our adopted son has attachment disorder, everyday waking up to see his face is a blessing. If I could take his past and his pain away I would. (Rachel). Our little one is the most loving, happy, gentle little girl. Every milestone is so incredible and she makes us so proud every day. (Katie)

  • Give a child a chance of life

Because every child/human simply deserves the same change as of life and opportunities. All children deserve the best help, and love. (Becky)

So please, before rejecting the idea of caring for a child with special needs on impulse, have a think and discuss whether your family could welcome an SEND child into your home, your life and your heart? It may be the making of you and them!


(ADHD) Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.

(FASD) Foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) are a group of conditions that can occur in a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. 

 (PDA), Pathological demand avoidance (PDA) is a profile that describes those whose main characteristic is to avoid everyday demands and expectations to an extreme extent. 

(SEND) Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

(SPD), Sensory processing disorder is a condition in which the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes in through the senses. 

FREE Guide: Planning and Preparing for Adoption Introductions.

We also support families considering adopting children from diverse communities. Diversity Adopt provides information about choosing agencies to apply to, preparing for adoption, and training for people considering adoption.

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