Is A Special Needs Adoptee Incapable Of Success?

This is a guest post by Angela Tucker. She is a nationally-recognized thought leader on transracial adoption and is an advocate for adoptee rights. She was recently named ‘Seattle’s Smartest Global Women.’ In 2013, at the age of 26, Angela’s own story of adoption and search for her birth parents was featured in the groundbreaking documentary, CLOSURE, which is available on Netflix, iTunes & Kweli TV. Read her blog here, and connect with her on Facebook here.

Do special needs adoptees have worth? You bet they do! While we understand the reasoning behind adoption questionnaires and preferences for an adopting couple, we also know they place unfair labels on precious children. Children who have very bright futures ahead of them.

Concept of a man follows the right way

Even though I’m hearing impaired, I am a healthy adult. Even though this wasn’t learned until my late childhood, I was a healthy child.

She didn’t always eat healthy while I grew in her belly. There were no prenatal visits or vitamins. Still I am fine and I’m healthy.

You should know that still I have worth.

I know you checked the box on that homestudy preferences list, that you were not open to prenatal drug use, a family history of depression or bipolar.

You checked the box that you would not adopt a child whose birthparent’s wanted to choose their name.

Does this have anything to do with the needs of the child?

Or is this just you playing a matchmaking game?

Does my health depend upon your understanding of medicine?

Is healthiness a societally constructed concept?

Is an autistic child unhealthy? Down syndrome? High IQ?

Does a lack of birthparent history dictate the child’s future health?

Are you seeking perfection in a child; A valedictorian graduating magna cum laude?

Is a “special needs” adoptee incapable of success? PTSD? Anxiety?

Not knowing family medical history can feel scary and in utero drug exposure may concern you.

But know that adoptees will seek righteousness with Malala.

We Will Rise with Maya Angelou

We strive for peace like Benazir Bhutto and have hoop dreams like Sheryl Swoopes.

Although I may strain to hear you at times, or I may lose my balance, I may need a sick day (or two) to recoup.

Still I am healthy and I am strong.

Dyslexia doesn’t define a soul anymore than a perfectionistic mother in defeat.

ADHD shouldn’t equate to “I can’t parent this,” just as “normal” is not synonymous with healthy.

Prenatal alcohol exposure doesn’t make my brother less human. Prenatal drug use doesn’t make my sister’s body wrong.

We aren’t a series of labels, or orphaned bodies to experiment on.

We were healthy children that have grown to be healthy adults. We were adopted as we were, and have grown in to who we are.

We have struggles, and faults, we succeed, we laugh at times we gain ground, and at times we fight bad thoughts.

When you go to check the boxes, please don’t predetermine what healthy might mean for me.

Please examine your own beliefs first.

I wonder, what does “healthy” mean to you?

Question: Have you considered a special-needs adoption? What is stopping you? Share with us in the comment section below this post. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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