Adopting a child with special needs can be intimidating, even scary. You may be afraid you don’t have what it takes. Your child’s needs will be more than you can handle. Or it will change your life in a way you didn’t expect or prepare for.

Fear and anxiety about something so monumental as welcoming a child — any child — into your life and home are completely natural. But if you truly have the desire and capacity to love and care for a child with special medical or developmental needs, do not let fear deter you.

Our team of social workers can, and will, give you all kinds of professional advice about adopting a child with special needs. But sometimes, the best advice comes from someone who has been there. Someone who has lived the experience you’re about to go through — and successfully come out the other side.

Check out some of our favorite pieces of advice from Holt adoptive families in the slideshow above. Their full stories are also well worth a read:

Letting Love Win: A Down Syndrome Adoption Story

When Jade and David Presnell felt called to adopt an older boy with Down syndrome, they learned to overcome their fears — and let love win.

With an Open Heart and an Open Mind

As you begin your adoption journey, one small step beyond your comfort zone may be all that stands between you and your future child. But openness in adoption looks different for every family.

Healing the Hurt Child

When Brett and Noelle Hersom adopt a 9-year-old with a history of abuse and neglect, they soon realize that given the right combination of love, commitment, patience and flexibility, every child has the potential to heal.

My Cherished Son

Adoptive mom Jen Skipper shares about adopting her son who has developmental delays — the unknowns, the hardships and the hope she now has for his future.

Alcohol Exposure: What Does It Mean?

Exposure to alcohol. This may be the most vague and full-of-unknowns special need you’ll come across in the profiles of children waiting to be adopted. It includes a vast array of outcomes, sometimes including no effects at all.

Get Up and Keep Dancing

Since coming home to her family last year, Devki Horine — who has cerebral palsy — has  amazed them with all she can do.  

smiling girl with Down syndrome waiting to be adopted

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