Special needs adoption 640x480
Types of Adoption

Special needs adoption

Catholic Charities’ Special Needs Adoption focus helps create a pathway for families to adopt children who have special medical, intellectual or physical needs.

Special needs could include but are not limited to:

  • Babies not yet born who have a prenatal diagnosis such as Down Syndrome and other genetic anomalies; heart defects and limb abnormalities, and other conditions
  • Babies who experienced traumatic births that resulted in cerebral palsy or other neurological issues or micro preemie babies or babies who are born exposed to drugs and require medical intervention
  • Children in the U.S. foster care system with medical needs and are available for adoption

Did you know...

  • Approximately 67% of woman who are given a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome choose to terminate the pregnancy.
  • You do not need prior medical experience to care for a child with medical needs but must be willing to learn and to navigate medical system(s).
  • In addition to being added onto the adoptive family’s insurance, adopted children are eligible for Medicaid as a secondary insurance.
  • Adopted children with special needs are eligible for Adoption Subsidy, which is a recurring payment to the adoptive family to assist the family in addressing the special needs of the child.
  • Grants are also available to adoptive families to help cover the costs associated with special needs adoption.
  • Catholic Charities provides ongoing adoption support, from the home study, match and placement through subsidy application, connecting with local resources, and adoption finalization. We remain a lifelong support to all our adoptive families.

Special Needs Adoption ACH 200
"Special needs adoptions bring blessings"
Meaghan Lane |  Special to the Catholic Herald

Catholic Charities serves biological parents throughout the Diocese who are interested in making an adoption plan for their child and we are currently in need of more families that are open to welcoming special needs children. In addition to working directly with families in our locality, we have had success working with other entities who help find adoptive families for children with disabilities such as The National Down Syndrome Adoption Network. Families who enroll in this program will work closely with Catholic Charities to pursue various avenues that may lead to adoption to include working with interstate adoption agencies or adoption networks. 


Catholic Charities Special Needs Adoption focus is an authentically pro-life response to our mission to serve the most vulnerable among us. To inquire about the adoption program, please complete this brief questionnaire. We will be in touch!  

Helpful Links

National Down Syndrome Adoption Network

NACAC: Adoption Assistance in Virginia

Our Fiat: Saying ‘Yes’ to the Unknown in Adoption



Thank you so very much for allowing me the opportunity to work with your agency! It was truly a pleasure and I will be sure to recommend your services to our families here. As mentioned many times before, it was a breath of fresh air to feel a sense of "teamwork" with (Catholic Charities Staff) during the last few months. The attention to detail and efficiency spoke volumes about how much you care for the families you work with. If you need anything from me in the near future please do not hesitate to reach out!