Making an Informed Decision
The biological parents who knock on our doors typically share feelings of helplessness and distress. We are there to listen to them and give them the support they need as they decide whether or not to place their child for adoption. Our goal is to help them feel less alone in their situation and enable them to make more informed decisions. Often, talking to other families who are managing well in a similar situation is enough to give parents clarity and confidence in their abilities. However, if biological parents feel that they are incapable of caring for their child’s disability, adoption remains an option.
Adoptive parents of children with disabilities have an advantage over biological parents faced with the unexpected shock of caring for a child with significant challenges. Since adoptive parents have chosen this path, often after several years of reflection, they are prepared for what lies ahead.
Association Emmanuel does not necessarily favour biological families over adoptive ones. Each situation is different. What is good for one child may be inappropriate for another. A number of factors need to be taken into consideration. The choice is ultimately up to the biological parents and it’s important that they take the time to make an informed decision. We create a space for dialogue, self-reflection, and support to help parents with this life-changing decision.
Open adoption helps ease the process of transferring parental responsibility from the biological family to the adoptive family. When planned properly with everyone’s participation, open adoption offers continuity from pregnancy to birth, to the first days after birth, and the child’s full integration into the adoptive family.
Here are some examples of children who have been adopted through our association:
.: children with Down syndrome
.: children born to mothers with substance abuse issues
.: children born to mothers who are HIV-positive
.: children with cerebral palsy
.: children who are deaf or hard of hearing
.: children with genetic conditions such as Prader-Willi Syndrome, Cri-du-chat Syndrome, Lowe Syndrome, etc.
.: children with fetal alcohol syndrome
.: children with attachment disorders
.: and other children whose disability prevents them from receiving the care they need in their immediate environment