Spence-Chapin works to find families for children from a variety of diverse and vulnerable populations. These populations include children with special needs.
Down syndrome is a genetic disorder in which a child has 3 copies of chromosome 21, instead of 2. Worldwide, it is estimated that somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 babies are born each year with Down syndrome. There are roughly 250,000 families currently in the U.S. affected by Down syndrome. Children with Down syndrome face potential physical and intellectual delays and may be more susceptible to certain medical conditions including heart defects and difficulty in hearing.
Facts and figures (and stigmas) aside, children born with Down syndrome are lovable individuals who can make wonderful additions to an adoptive family! Medical and psychological care for these children is obviously paramount because this is a disorder that is accompanied by developmental challenges. What is equally important is that these children receive love and compassion from their families. Research suggests having a child with Down syndrome in the family can actually have positive effects on a family unit. Another study revealed that divorce rates in families of a child with Down syndrome are actually lower, comparatively.
For those parents who can open their hearts and homes to children with Down syndrome (or another special need), we offer support and resources Our Modern Family Center provides programs and services for all adoptive families to help navigate this lifetime process.