Resources for people with disabilities

People with disabilities can foster or adopt

We know that people with disabilities can parent: 6.2 percent of all parents with children under the age of 18 have some sort of disability.

We also know that many parents with disabilities feel discriminated against when undertaking the adoption process.

There are no simple solutions to eradicating age-old biases or to eliminating the barriers that may arise as child welfare workers undergo their very important work of assessing a potential parent’s ability to care for a child. But there are an increasing number of online resources and organizations that provide support and information to parents and potential parents with disabilities.

Documenting the challenges: ADA Rocking the Cradle report  

Parents with disabilities are more likely to lose custody of their children after divorce, have more difficulty in accessing reproductive health care, and face significant barriers to adopting children.

The National Council on Disabilities has documented societal biases and systems barriers that affect parents in a report called Rocking the Cradle.

Resources

Adoptive parent Carrie Ann Lucas was forced to follow a “learn as you go” approach to adoption two decades ago, but today parents with disabilities can tap the knowledge and benefit from the experiences of an online community of families. In addition to social media groups that have formed on sites including Facebook, Google+, and Yahoo, the following organizations and websites offer information for parents and potential parents with disabilities:

  • Disability.gov: This site provides a wealth of resources on topics including benefits, civil rights, employment, health care, and housing. The site links to thousands of resources from many different federal government agencies, as well as state and local governments and nonprofit organizations across the country.
  • Through the Looking Glass National Center for Parents with Disabilities: The National Center offers consultations, trainings, and publications to parents, family members, and professionals. Most of these services are free, including consultations by phone or email as well as publications via mail, email, or their website. The National Center was created in 1998 through funding from the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research at the Department of Education.
  • Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children, a 2012 report issued by the National Council on Disabilities.

From AdoptUSKids:

  • Talk with an AdoptUSKids adoption and foster care specialist by calling 888-200-4005 or emailing info@adoptuskids.org, or use our online chat feature when available.

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