Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

31 for 21: The greatest special need

Check out the Reece's Rainbow pages for the youngest boys and girls with Down syndrome.  They are so squishy and adorable!  And so young, that their delays are not severe yet and would easily be overcome with some PT, OT, ST and LT (Love Therapy).  However, notice how many of them are from Russia (with a number and a letter after their name  -- e.g. 2H is St. Petersburg region, 15H is Moscow, etc.).  Russian adoptions are expensive -- usually $35-40K!    A few of the children have significant RR grants or agency grants, but the rest are probably going to stay on the rolls, getting older and more delayed.

What a pity -- the greatest special need that holds families back from adopting these kids is the one that is imposed on them by the adoption bureaucracy -- money!

ETA: I did some rough arithmetic, and it would take nearly $4 million to pay for the adoption of the100+ babies and toddlers with Down syndrome listed on RR, about 75% of whom are from Russia.


  1. Thank you for writing such an insightful blog, Galit. I'm taking your husband Daniel's advice and commenting regarding a posting. What do you think about the 2010 case where the American mother Torry-Ann Hansen sent her son back to Moscow? There are also movements in South Korea and India that encourage these countries to build the infrastructure to address intra-country adoption. I'd be incredibly interested in hearing your reflections. You clearly have analyzed this from many different perspectives. Let's meet for coffee as planned sometime soon!

    1. Thank you! I addressed some of the issues you raise in the past, http://matir-asurim.blogspot.com/2012/06/complex-ethical-decisions-2-adoption-vs.html comes to mind. I think that ultimately, having children's needs met as close to home as possible is ideal for all involved, on many levels.

      Obviously, abandoning a child on an airplane is wrong in so many ways! In addition,
      1. There are legitimate ways to disrupt an adoption that doesn't work out. This was not disruption, but abandonment and criminal neglect.
      2. She sent him back after a fairly short period - one should definitely seek professional help, respite care, etc before disrupting an adoption.
      3. She was clearly not prepared for the adjustment. The agency - and the Russian facilitators - are probably partly at fault. Parents should have full disclosure about the likelihood of FAS, as well as support from the homestudy agency in negotiating attachment issues after the adoption is finalized.

      All this just underscores the need for a community to back this kind of effort. Doing this in isolation can be a real minefield! And a community can support both individual adopters and larger-scale in-country projects.

      With that in mind, let's meet!


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