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Terri Mauro

Children with Down syndrome in demand for adoption

By February 6, 2006

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Would you like to adopt a child with Down syndrome? Get in line. According to an Associated Press story, children with Down syndrome are in demand, with waiting lists months or even years long. Some families seek a child with Down syndrome because they are already parenting one and know the challenges involved; others think those challenges are easier to handle than with other special needs. According to a social worker quoted in the story, "Out of all the special needs children can have, many think Down syndrome is the more manageable. People think they are just great kids, people feel like they are very lovable." And that's great to hear at a time when prenatal testing seems to be advancing in a way that could cause fewer Down syndrome children to be born. At the same time, it tends to reduce children to a cuddly stereotype, when in fact every child with Down syndrome is a unique individual. Says an adoptive parent quoted in the story, "Just because you have Down syndrome, that doesn't mean you're going to have a cookie-cutter personality and be the stereotypical huggy, lovey kid. There are certainly very positive aspects. But there are also the challenges you have with any kid." Stories like this make you wonder, too, who will adopt the children whose stereotypes aren't so huggy and lovey. My son with Fetal Alcohol Effects is a sweet, affectionate, bright little guy, but the stereotype for that diagnosis is so grim that adoptive parents often go to great lengths to avoid the slightest likelihood of it.

July 26, 2006 at 7:33 pm
(1) glenda jensen says:

I was interested in being a foster or adoptive parent for a downsyndrome child because I have a 39 yr.old nephew who is DS and the love of my life. He has brought such joy to me. I can understand why there is a waiting list.

August 31, 2006 at 12:01 am
(2) sheila says:

i will find out tomorrow if my daughter’s twin boys both have down syndrome as we fear. she is due to deliver at Christmas. i am so scared.

September 6, 2006 at 3:02 am
(3) Sharon says:

I just received the news that the daughter I’m pregnant with has down’s syndrome. I’m definately not in the position to raise a special needs baby, but she deserves to live. I was amazed to hear how many people want to adopt special needs children. Bless you all!!!

November 28, 2006 at 11:42 am
(4) Mary says:

I’d just like to make a comment-please stop calling these children Down Syndrome Children. These are children first-the correct phrase would be children with Down syndrome.

January 19, 2008 at 3:49 pm
(5) Heather says:

Thank you Mary, I was thinking the same thing. All children are children first. I have adopted 2 boys with special needs. My almost 5 year old has autism (high functioning, very smart) as well as some physical delays,a nd my 17 month old has a laudry list of issues including hydrocephalus, chronic lung disease, and hemipeligic CP. We would live to adopt a little girl or boy with Downs Syndrome, but alas, as the article states there are hundreds of families also looking to adopt a child with Downs. I have known a number of indivuals that have Downs syndrome, and they truly are ALL unquie in and of themselves. So we continue to be open to children with a variety of special needs.

August 4, 2008 at 4:17 pm
(6) Annie says:

What no one wants to admit is that since these children are not considered “perfect” once prenatal testing reveals the child has Down’s, most parents choose to abort this “non-perfect” child. Just as many diabled children are being conceived, they are just being murdered prior to birth.

April 28, 2009 at 12:13 pm
(7) Leticia Velasquez says:

You’re right, over 90% are aborted because of outdated stereotypes. My daughter has DS and is in typical Kindergarten. She is delayed, but is living a healthy and happy life, giving so much joy to her family that I had to start a blog to share it!

April 28, 2009 at 10:07 pm
(8) Kimberly says:

I found out my son had DS in my 24 1/2 week of pregnancy. He had a heart defect and hydrocephaly. The ultrasound doctor told me my best option was to abort since my child would be “not much more than a vegetable” because of the hydrocephaly. I lost a baby the month before I conceived him, and this was after 2 and a half years of trying to get pregnat. Needless to say, I didn’t abort, and my son has tested in the mild range. Is he challenging? Sure. But so were (and still are) my 20,19,17 and 16 year olds….but you know what? In so many ways, he is a lot easier too…..

June 8, 2009 at 4:28 pm
(9) Leticia Velasquez says:

You’re so brave, Kimberley, my daughter only had a small hole in her heart which corrected itself. I too had a miscarriage right before conceiving her so NO ONE was going to talk me out of having her.
I’m so happy I did. You should have seen her sing and dance with her class at her Kindergarten graduation!

July 11, 2009 at 1:32 am
(10) Lisa says:

I would of felt blessed if all my children would of been born with Down Syndrome. I have 3 boys, 26, 23, 20 and my middle son has DS. He is the glue, the reason our family is so strong. He makes us laugh, cry and appreciate the little things that we most days take for granted. I would love to adopt a child with Down Syndrome to share the love my family has to give and to receive the endless love they give back.

July 15, 2009 at 2:19 pm
(11) alma says:

hi i just recieved news that my unborn child will be born with special needs,i am very scared and would like to know more about adoption.i just want the best for my baby and i know that he will need a lot a patiece and i really dont think i will.thank you for ay responses.

July 15, 2009 at 4:32 pm
(12) Anne says:

Side note: autistic advocates–individuals who ARE autistic–prefer to be called autistic rather than using person-first terminology. I think Joel Smith’s thiswayoflife.org blog has an article on that, how the autistic rights community claims the autism as an inherent part of their personality and selves, unlike other disabilities. But I appreciate that’s only true for autism, not Down Syndrome.

July 16, 2009 at 11:38 am
(13) Jill says:

I have a 5 year old daughter with Down syndrome and she is a freaking awesome kid! I found out during AFP testing that there was a high liklihood and of course I was scared, but she is a healthy, happy kid. We’ve moved around quite a bit and she’s been in a several different daycares beacuse of it, and she is the most liked kid each place she goes. She’ll be starting typical Kindegarten this fall and I have no doubt that she’ll fit in wonderfully. Of course there are delays and challenges, but that’s life and we adapt to it. It’s quite disheartening that the world is missing out on 80% more kids just like her because people fear the worst and believe antiquated stereotypes.

August 18, 2009 at 5:02 am
(14) Sarah says:

I have a sister with down syndrome and she is my world. She is extremely able; living on her own, working and was the first of the four of us daughters to leave home! She is 24 and has given me so much love and the meaning in my life to adopt as many children with down syndrome as I can! I am looking at starting my adoption process in the next few years and can’t wait!

August 28, 2009 at 2:33 pm
(15) New Dad says:

Just a word to those who have children with Down Syndrome and are looking to put them up for adoption.

I was completely devastated when we were told our daughter had Down Syndrome. My mind was spinning and running wild trying to think of any way possible to get myself out from this “horrible situation”. If someone would have offered to adopt her in those early days I probably would have paid them to do so, I just couldn’t imagine the difficulties in raising this child, not to mention the drastic change in life style and the perceived stigma I assumed would be attached to me for the rest of my life. Just thinking of my “imperfect” child and the label DS dad made me cringe with disgust, embarrassment and resentment at the life and dream I’d apparently lost. The fear and anguish was real and at times I could hardly breath. I had such a deep feeling of despair and was sure that my life was over.

Looking back now, it’s so hard to believe that I had these feelings. Once you look into your child’s eyes I think things will start to slowly change. She is a real person with real feelings and real love that she expresses in so many ways. Please give yourself some time with your child before you rush to the conclusion that you can’t raise them. It’s not nearly as hard as your initial fears make it out to be and there is so much to gain from the experience that I really think you’ll look back in regret in the future by giving them up before you’ve even given them a chance.

September 16, 2009 at 1:54 pm
(16) Courtney says:

This posting was nice to read but not as realistic and beautiful as they make it seem. I have a true passion for special needs children, and I love children with DS and even though I am only 21, God is laying adoption of a child with DS on my heart. I will wait some years to do this, but I have looked into websites for adoption already. There are so many children with DS that are waiting to be adopted. Reese’s Rainbow is a site that is dedicated to connecting parents with orphans with DS and many of them are sickly, malnourished, and need surgery. I love that there are people out there who share my passion, but take a further look into this. God bless you all who love children with special needs, and I hope that more and more children do become adopted.

November 23, 2009 at 1:51 pm
(17) Duke says:

It is intresting to hear that people are adapting children with DS well in Africa we have so many of them without education. My son has DS and i have been looking for a special school for him to no avail, i have done main streaming that is taking him to regular school he couldn’t cope, now he is at home with me still hoping there will be medical break through one day.

January 11, 2010 at 2:11 pm
(18) Sherry says:

We have 4 typical sons, and have always talked about adopting a little girl with Down Syndrome. My husband has a cousin with ds and he’s great. He’s got his ups and downs like any other kid.
This year our dream is becoming a reality as we are in the process of adopting not one, but two little girls we found out about through Reece’s Rainbow. They have so many beautiful kids of all ages who desperately need homes! In Eastern Europe after the age of 4 most are place into mental institutions and can no longer be adopted!! There is no hope for people with DS in those countries, no future. Society at large considers them a disgrace. We are thrilled to be getting 2 out of there, but there are so many more! THe cost may seem high, but it is what many of us would easily pay for a car. Plus, there are grants available.
Here in the US Robin Steele in Cincinnatti (sp?) is a great person to talk to about placing a child with DS for adoption, or if you are hoping to adopt.

May 19, 2010 at 6:51 pm
(19) Brooke says:

I would give my right eye to adopt an older down syndrome boy maybe about 5 or 6. I see so many sites but the ones I’ve found just want you to “sponsor” a child and I want to bring one home!!
Someone post a legit link so I can get myself a little bundle of perfect.

June 15, 2010 at 7:37 pm
(20) carline augustin says:

HI my name is carline and i have a babyboy he’s 10 months old,you call them downsyndrom baby me i ll never call them like that. when i was pregnant ask to do some test i was allready 4 or 5months and i rememberi ask him if he can do something about that he said no and i said im not gonna do itbut when i got the baby they ask again this time on the baby i said ok and when they call me in the phone to gave me the answer oh God i cried like a baby and ask God why me ,what did i do to deserve that,i love you to much to gave that kind the baby,my boyfriend one day even told me you see what kind the baby you gave me you know as soon as he told me that got strengh ,i told him God never gave bad thing if you human when your kids ask you for fish you dont give them snake how come God himself gonna give bad things and i started praying said God grant me the serenity to accept the things i can not change ;courage to change the things I can;and the wisdom to know the difference.guess what hes my every thing ,i love him with all my live when you call downsyndrom i get upset i dont like that name at all my baby he likes every baby in world and gess what he’s father love him so much. that God blessing if you dont understant that to bad for you because some people they have money they can have children they try really hard pay a lot money they still can have baby , if you have a baby like that please show them some love, kiss them ,treat them the other kids ,they dont deseve to treat that way they human too , they not gabage . if just in case you wanna talk my number is 347-901-1245 i khow you scare ,dont be ,that baby gonna live back to you believe me God bless you all and your babies.

August 28, 2010 at 1:00 am
(21) Sarah says:

My sister is 24. Amber is the light of all of our lives. She swears like a truckdriver. She watches musicals, has a fixation with straws and spoons, she can sing, and has an uncanny memory. Ask her to sing any song in a musical. She will know it. I am writing because I can’t have any more children. I am 31, I have one child, who is 10, and I have to share him with too many people. His father is with another woman with two children of her own, and I can’t have any more kids. I had a hard life. Cancer and kidney disease has left me with one healthy kidney that belonged to my mother. I want to adopt a young person with Down Syndrome in the worst way! You will never know true joy until you see it from the eyes of a DS youngster or adult. Darn those doctors for attempting to change life’s natural miracles!

September 3, 2010 at 8:51 am
(22) Tracey Coates says:

I would just like to say although these children can be loving and affectionate they are damn hard work.As a mother of a 7 year old boy with down syndrome who attends a mainstream school, it has been hard work to get him there. It is not an easy road of cuddles and hugs.Not that i would trade him for anything in the world (well maybe nah just joking). People adopting children should be aware of what is involved in getting there.

November 15, 2010 at 7:08 pm
(23) Bob says:

Can anyone help ? I have a daughter that went thru artificial insemination in order to have a child, we have learned that my first grandchild (boy) has a high probability to be born with Downs syndrome. I failed to raise my daighter with enough Christian values to not consider abortion, She does not think it is “fair” to bring a child into the world with downs syndrome and plans to terminate the pregnancy. This disturbs me but I cannot influence her. If I could introduce her to someone with the love it takes to raise this child I hope we could save his life.
I do not have the resources to do it myself
My e mail is ssgmrbob@hotmail.

November 24, 2010 at 12:17 pm
(24) mandy barber says:

I am 6 months pregnant with a baby girl that has Downs Syndrome. I am planning on giving her up for adoption.Can you link me to some agencies to inquire?

November 24, 2010 at 12:21 pm
(25) mandy barber says:

Ia am 6 months pregnant with a baby gilr that has down syndrome..I want to give her up for adoption..I am inquiring about links or families that want to adopt. 731 499-4991

November 24, 2010 at 5:29 pm
(26) specialchildren says:

Mandy, a good way to start would be contacting Robin Steele at the National Down Syndrome Adoption Network. You can find her contact information and more information about the network at http://www.dsagc.com/programs_adoption.asp . Good luck to you.

November 27, 2010 at 11:22 pm
(27) lena says:

I am a 23 year old women with a son that has Down syndrome and he is now four years old, if I may add I am also a single parent as well as his 24 hour caregiver, I am currently in school earning my bacherlor degree in crimnal justice and even though times get tuff and stressful I never asked GOD why who am I to question GOD. I love my son dearly and I am his advacate I wish everyone on this site the best and encourage them to make whatever descion is best for them and there child as far as adopotion goes. When I first had my son they came in the room and asked me if I wanted to give my baby away and I said never and took my son home, just remember GOD doesn’t give us anything that we can’t handle. In the end its all worth it

November 29, 2010 at 5:32 pm
(28) Carrie Craft says:

If you are trying to decide if adoption is the right answer for your child may I suggest the following links for more information regarding adoption in general:

Once You’ve Decided That Adoption Is Right for Your Baby and Pregnant? Trying to Decide if Adoption Is an Option?.

Good luck to you all as you try to decide the best for your baby.

Carrie Craft – Adoption Guide

December 7, 2010 at 4:34 pm
(29) Laura says:

One thing you fail to mention is that children with down syndrome are only in demand domestically. Internationally, there are MANY children with down syndrome who are waiting for homes and many never find their forever family. Although stereotypes still persist in America, they are much worse in underdeveloped countries, where having down syndrome is enough of a reason to send a child to an institution – even though they are fully capable individuals. Reece’s Rainbow or Rainbowkids.com are great resources for people interested in adopting a child with down syndrome or other special needs.

January 8, 2011 at 3:12 pm
(30) Marianne says:

I had no idea about the “high demand” of children to be adopted with Down syndrome here in the States until my dear friend told me. Her son was born with DS and because of him, we looked into it. We have three typical boys (biological) and just adopted a precious little girl from Ukraine who happens to have Down syndrome. She brings us so much joy and our hearts are overflowing with love for her! I think the fear of the unknown and fear of the preconceived notions of raising a child with Down syndrome causes many to abort or give their babies up for adoption. As with all things, educating yourself about things can help alleviate the fears and help a person make an informed decision. I would adopt another child in a heart beat with Down syndrome!!!

January 11, 2011 at 8:52 pm
(31) Leanne says:

I just read a study saying that 3/4 of women who discover during pregnanacy that their child has Down Syndrome opt to terminate. It did not say if the whole 3/4 actually do, but this is absolutely horrendous. If there are so many loving familes out there willing to adopt these children, why take a life? It is absolutely unnessicary and I hope that doctors will inform these mothers who may not have the right qualities to raise the child or who believe that the child will suffer that there are other options, ones where their child will live a happy life.

February 14, 2011 at 3:25 pm
(32) vanessa says:

can anybody help me? im trying to adopt a child with downs syndrome im the united kingdom but have no idea where to even start looking if anybody can help would be grateful

March 12, 2011 at 6:51 am
(33) Adrian says:

Vanessa, our daughter has DS, she was born a month ago. We currently live in the UK. My husband is doing his masters degree here and we would need to leave back to our country this summer when he finishes his studies. We know that our baby will have no future back in our country, so we are trying to find her good adoptive parents.

March 18, 2011 at 1:37 pm
(34) specialchildren says:

Adrian, I’d suggest you start by contacting the Down’s Syndrome Association at http://www.downs-syndrome.org.uk/contact-us.html for advice on your situation. They may be able to give you some guidance on finding adoptive parents. Also, please see the articles linked to by Carrie in comment 28 above. Good luck to you.

August 27, 2011 at 12:54 am
(35) LoriJean says:

13 years ago I gave birth to my 7th child . shortly after birth he was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. We welcomed him into our family and truly cherished the gift God had given us. During his toddler years I spoke to other new and pregnant moms of DS babies, talking to them about how blessed they were. I trusted in God’s word that promised : “My God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” But today, 13 years later its not happening. My son has severe behavior problems, has been restrained repeatedly at school , and we are going broke paying for psyciatrists and therapists who dont get it. . In our state of Florida, he has been on the waiting list to recieve services for the past 8 years, with no hope of getting to the top any time soon. The damage that our “blessing” has been to our other children is not repairable. My teenage daughters lock their doors at night because they are afraid of his violent outbursts. Do I love him? Of course. Have my husband and I put 100% of our energy into trying to find services that will make us the best parents we can be and help him to be the best he can be? Of course, but it all comes at the huge sacrifice to our other children. . I am sure some may think we just dont have good parenting skills, but my 6 other daughters have never been in an ounce of trouble, are straight A students and every parents dream. Yet there isnt a day that goes by that one of them isnt agonized by the trauma–not blessing–of dealing with their brother. Each of my daughters holds fast to their conviction that they never want to have children in the unlikely case they might have a child with a disability like thier brothers. 13 years ago i would have judged and criticized a family who decided to terminate a pregancy.Today i would never judge and totally understand the reasons a woman may terminate the pregancy. Either way she is likely to go through hell.Negative? I think just plain realistic.

October 2, 2011 at 7:18 am
(36) Stacy says:

I am absolutely in complete disapointment reading all of these posts. First off your child is a child first and for most who has down syndrome…not a down syndrome baby!
My husband and I have a baby boy (Mason) who has down syndrome. We love him truely, never ever ever considered termination. I am looking to adopt a baby who has down syndrome they are absolutely amazing! My husband is in the military so we are given all the care our child! Plz contact me if u want to terminate your baby! Plz plz I am begging you. 6056952321

January 21, 2012 at 1:07 am
(37) Courtney Lott says:

My husband and I have adopted 4 of our 6 children, and now feel we are being called to adopt a child with down syndrome. If you are an expectant mother considering adoption, please call us. We would love the opportunity to talk with you, and share our hearts for adoption with you! Thank you! Courtney Lott 678-559-2164

January 27, 2012 at 7:24 am
(38) specialchildren says:

Courtney, I urge you to contact organizations that facilitate adoptions for children with Down syndrome, such as the National Down Syndrome Adoption Network at http://www.ndsan.org/ and Reece’s Rainbow at http://reecesrainbow.org/.

May 3, 2012 at 2:46 pm
(39) alyssa says:

I am really having a hard time making this decision. My son is now 5 years old and has downsyndrome. in year 2010 in November he undertook a heart transplant after his heart had failed. Now we are really mostly battling potty training him. He doesnt seem to grasp when he has to go and we also urge him to try to talk but it is really had for him it breaks my heart. I love my son so dear we have been thru hell and back.

My husband and I have a child together who is now going on 2 years old and I have another on the way due in september. I am 25 so fairly young, but I am very mature i have been thru so much in my years.

I am considering adopting. My husband who is not his father says that he thinks it will be okay that we will keep working with him but at the same time we both have such a hard time with him apart of me feels so much happier when my parents or anyone helps out to keep him and just in relief, i have undergone alot of stressful times and the things my son and I have gone thru seem to also have caused me to be a little depressed for the past 2 years.

I am considering adopting but my son is 5. I dont know if and how i can handle lettinghim go and if i will regret it. Typing this now is the first time i have mentioned it to anyone other than my husband. Please give me some advice..

I am almost in tears. I think about raising him and I just don’t know what to do.

Please relay some advice.

Thank you,


May 7, 2012 at 2:57 am
(40) kate says:

Alyssa..just wanted to say God bless you and your son. Please contact reeses’s rainbow for help and guidance.

May 17, 2012 at 1:02 am
(41) tammy says:

This is a decision that you must make, and only you know what is best for you and your family. If you live in the US, please know there are several resources available. Contact your local school’s exceptional children’s department, local mental health agencies, department of social services, or even your pediatrician. Asking for help and allowing others to help is not a sign of weakness, but a step towards advocacy for your child who is unable to advocate for his self. God Bless you and your family.

July 7, 2012 at 1:00 am
(42) Heather says:

When I was 18yrs old I became a mother (for the 2nd time) Yes I know it’s shocking to most people. Especially when so many forms of birth control out there, chalk it up to being an irresponsible teenager. But by no means were my children a mistake. God has a plan for me and they were part of that plan. I do wish I could have waited a bit longer and had them when I was a lot less selfish I love my boys, they are the light of my life. I have done the best job I could have under the circumstance.So at 18 when I delivered my 2nd son Andrew, it was love at first sight. Everyone around me (accept my parents) were telling me to give him up for adoption, and that at 18 with one child already I would never be able to take care of him, or give him all he needed. The hospital actually sent a child advocate in to get me to give him up. So there I was terrified that they were going to rip him out of my arms and I’d never see him again. In that moment when he layed there in my arms I knew I would never ever let anyone or anything seperate us. It still to this day, was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. I admit it can be very tough at times, even challenging. But he is so very worth it. Andrew has made me a better person. I look at all the things he has taught me over these years, patience, courage, determination and whole hearted and true unconditional love. God must really love me to have entrusted me with such a precious gift. You never know the depth of how much you can love someone until you’ve been loved and love a person with down syndrome. There is nothing they would not do to bring a smile to your face. I will always be ever so thankful for God to grace me with my sweet andrew. If you are condidering adopting or even pregnant with a baby with d.s. remember this is a blessing, not a curse.

November 3, 2013 at 8:41 pm
(43) Lacey says:

I am looking to adopt a child with DS. If anyone knows of someone who is having a child diagnosed with DS or a child that needs to find a family please contact me! spencerlayc@yahoo.com

March 28, 2014 at 8:14 am
(44) Rebecca says:

I am an adoptive parent of a “special needs” child and now an adoption advocate. In July 2013 I volunteered in a Chinese orphanage and got to spend time with many children with Down Syndrome who are WAITING to be adopted. I’ve blogged about the kids I met (see tabs at the top of the blog) on http://www.coleman-bunkbeds.blogspot.com

I also made a video of many of the kids with DS, the password is DSkids and the link is http://vimeo.com/78018326

Please feel free to email me if you are interested in learning more about adopting a special needs child from China. JCandRebecca@Yahoo.com

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