Stars of “The Little Couple” on TLC, Dr. Jennifer Arnold and Bill Klein are the proud adopted parents to a three-year-old boy, who also suffers from a form of dwarfism. Adopting from China, the couple began to explore adoption as an alternative after their surrogate suffered an unfortunate miscarriage last March.
As the stars of the reality TV show, Arnold admits she always wanted to adopt a child who was a little person and after marrying Klein, who also suffers from dwarfism, they realized they both shared the same desire to adopt a special needs baby.
Unfortunately, not all people are willing to adopt special needs children. As Arnold, a neonatologist, stated, “If we could just adopt all the little people on the web page, we could fill the house really quickly.” In fact, TLC plans to chronicle the couple’s road to adoption on their show, with the season premiere airing April 30.
While adopting special needs children may not be the right choice for all parents, it may be something for dedicated parents, who are committed to a life-long journey to consider. If parents are considering a special needs adoption, there are many resources they should consult online. This includes several informative resources from the National Foster Care and Adoption Directory that focus on parent support groups, including self-assessment guides for prospective adoptive parents.
Many people wonder what constitutes the classification and status as “special needs.” Often times, for infants, this includes:
- Boy Adoptions – Many families are more open to female adoptions than male adoptions, leaving boys in the minority.
- Bone, Muscle and Joint Conditions – This includes Amniotic Banding, missing limbs, Arthrogryposis, Brachial Plexus Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Club Feet, Down Syndrome, Dwarfism, Fibular/Tibular Hemimelia, Funnel Chest/Pigeon Breast, Hernia, Hip Dysplasia, Lymphedema, Brittle Bone Disease, Radial Club Hand, Rickets, Scoliosis, Syndactyly, Teratoma and Twisted Neck.
- Ear, Eye and Head Conditions – This may include Apraxia/Mute, Blindness, Cataracts, Cleft Lip/Palate, Deafness/Hearing Loss, Glaucoma, Hemifacial Microsomia, Missing Eyes, Nystagmus, Ptosis and Strabismus.
- Feeding/Colon Conditions – This can include Anal Atresia, Failure to Thrive, Feeding/Swallowing Issues, Food Allergies, Gastroschisis, Megacolon and Pyloric Stenosis.
- Heart and Blood Conditions – This includes Diabetes, Heart Defects, Hemophilia, Lead Poisoning, Thalassemia and Turner’s Syndrome.
- Infectious Diseases – This may include Congenital Syphilis, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV, Meningitis, Polio and Tuberculosis.
- Neurologic Conditions – Including Arachnoic Chyst, Autism, Hydrocephalus, Seizure Disorders and Spina Bifida.
- Reproductive and Urologic Conditions – This may include Ambiguous Genitalia, Concealed or Inconspicuous Penis, Hypospadias and Undescended Testes.
- Skin Conditions – This includes Albinism, Burns, Congenital Blue Nevus, Congenital Nevus Birthmark, Ectodermal Dysplasia, Eczema, Hemangiomas, Ichthyosis, Port Wine Birthmark and Scabies.