Friday, December 14, 2007

Adoption and Cystic Fibrosis

Today's Q&A is courtesy of Laura Christianson, author of The Adoption Decision and The Adoption Network.

Q. If I have a chronic medical condition, will it exclude me from being eligible to adopt a child?

A. Not necessarily. While adoption professionals do evaluate the health of the prospective adoptive parent(s), their main concern is whether a person's health issues will interfere with or prevent that person from being an effective parent.

If you have a chronic medical challenge and want to adopt, it's important to share openly and honestly with your adoption social worker, and explain the ways in which you are being proactive about managing your health issues. Adoption social workers aren't looking for excuses to turn prospective parents down; they are looking ways to say "yes."

I know several adoptive parents who have chronic medical conditions—they often adopt a child who has the same condition. Adoption social workers are delighted when this happens, because children with medical issues are considered "hard-to-place." When a parent adopts a child who has the same medical challenge, the child often receives the best treatment possible because the parent knows exactly what the child needs.

Laura is a freelance journalist specializing in adoption-related issues. She is the author of The Adoption Decision: 15 Things You Want to Know Before Adopting and The Adoption Network: Your Guide to Starting a Support System.

Her Exploring Adoption blog received Forbes magazine's 'Best of the Web' rating. Laura has written numerous general-interest features and essays for national and regional publications. She speaks regularly at writers' conferences and other events.

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