The adoption of Down Syndrome children in many ways is similar to the adoption of a child without Down Syndrome. However, there are variations in the laws of adopting Down Syndrome children both domestically and internationally. Furthermore, there are financial considerations with Down Syndrome adoption that are not present in standard adoptions.
According to Rainbow Kids, there are facts the adoptive parents or parent need to understand before adopting a Down Syndrome child. Children that are adopted with Down Syndrome face challenges in areas of life relating to poor muscle tone, short fingers, broad hands with increased palm length and excessive flexibility. Furthermore, there is no cure for Down Syndrome. This information is not meant to deter potential adopters but to inform them of the challenges related to Down Syndrome children.
Some of the differences between standard adoption proceedings and Down Syndrome adoptions are: if you are single or married at least one partner must be 25 years old and a legal U.S. citizen. Also an adoptive parent's mental history will be considered in the adoption process; and a parent must carry health insurance as Down Syndrome children often have health issues that arise over their life.
Much like domestic adoption, international families requesting to be matched with a child must complete a parenting class. Furthermore, international families must be in contact with a licensed social worker either in the United States or in their home country. In addition, an international family must request an application in a Family Sponsorship Program (FSP) and complete and submit a family commitment package.
According to Reece's Rainbow, potential adopting parents must be in a financially stable position. For example, in addition to standard agency fees that all adoption programs have, adoption agencies such as Reese's Rainbow require potential adoptive parents to take preparation classes that will assist the parents in providing for and raising a child with Down Syndrome.
According to Reese's Rainbow there are several grant and loan institutions that may be of service in the adoption process. However, these institutions will not offer up front assistance nor will they cover relocation or travel expenses related to the adoption proceedings. These institutions will require proof of a Down Syndrome parenting class or instruction prior to offering assistance.