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What You Should Know About Placing A Disabled Baby For Adoption

When choosing adoption, birth mothers have a lot to consider. The process is emotionally challenging, and finding out that your child has a disability adds a lot to consider. Putting a disabled baby for adoption has a similar process to other children, but there are still a few things that might help you as a birth parent throughout the adoption process. At Adoption Choices of Oklahoma, we want to help you feel comfortable with your decision to give your baby up for adoption and make sure that your baby will go to a family that will take care of their needs.

Placing a Disabled Baby for Adoption and What You Should Know.

Mothers of disabled children have the same rights as any other mother undergoing the Oklahoma adoption process. As a birth mother, you will have control over the adoption process, which includes the type of adoption you want and deciding which is the right adoptive family to place your baby with. The adoption process has five steps:

  1. Pick an adoption agency
  2. Provide your medical and social history 
  3. Getting to know your child’s adoptive family
  4. Create a hospital plan and plan your first meeting with your child’s future parents.
  5. Terminate parental rights.

Although the adoption process of placing a baby with disabilities for adoption is the same as other adoptions, each situation is still unique. For example, birth mothers may choose to have an open adoption to continue contact with their child after adoption. While others might choose a closed adoption where their information is not shared until the child turns 18 and chooses whether they are interested in learning more about their birth parents.

When placing a disabled baby or child for adoption, knowing how special needs are defined in your state is important. For example, in Oklahoma, special needs is defined as:

  • The child can’t return home: If the Department of Human Services deemed the home unfit, the child must not return to live with his or her parents.
  • Physical disability: The child has been diagnosed with a physical disability requiring regular treatment by a physician.
  • Mental Disability: The child meets the criteria for educable multi-handicapped(EMH) or trainable multi-handicapped(TMH) and has been evaluated by a licensed professional.
  • Age: For placement to relatives who meet a specific degree of relationship, there is no age requirement. For unrelated or other relative placements, the child is eligible if he or she is at least 8 years old.
  • Sibling relationship: The child has at least one sibling adopted by the same family. A child younger than 3 years old may become eligible due to a sibling relationship.
  • Emotional Disorder: This requires a documented diagnosis from a physician or other qualified professional. 
  • Racial or Ethnic factor: Pacific Islander, Native American, Hispanic, Asian and African-American children 3 years of age or older.
  • Unsuccessful efforts to place the child without assistance: Efforts to place the child without adoption assistance have been unsuccessful. 

A child who meets the above criteria can receive adoption assistance benefits either from the federal government or the state of Oklahoma. Benefits can include monthly assistance payments, Medicaid, reimbursement for non-recurring adoption expenses, and certain special services not covered by other programs. Benefits end when the child turns 18 or meets other conditions for termination. 

Making Your Choice

If you think adoption is the right choice for your baby, your adoption agency will help you make a plan. This includes navigating the legal process, getting financial support, picking the right kind of adoption, getting counseling, and more. Adoption Choices of Oklahoma is a nonprofit organization celebrating twenty years of service. We are more than happy to help you as you make your choice.

Adoption Choices of Oklahoma is a private adoption agency, licensed by the state of Oklahoma and leader in the adoption community. We have been assisting birth parents, children, and adoptive families in Oklahoma for over 19 years. Our staff members are committed to providing an ethical, empowering, and personalized adoption experience to all involved in the adoption process.  If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us.
Toll-free: 800-898-6028 | OKC Local: 405-755-1999 | Tulsa Local: 918-447-7777 | Text: 405-310-8790Email

SenneaMeet the author: Seannea Wharton is a student at Miami University majoring in English. As of now, she is working on her first novel, starting a book blog, and learning American Sign Language. She was raised in a suburban town in New Jersey and has various hobbies such as gardening, cooking, and crocheting. She enjoys learning about a wide range of topics and loves finding new books to read.


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