Children with special needs are, first and foremost, just like other children. Every child needs a family, special needs or otherwise. All around the world there are children with special needs waiting to be adopted. But adopting special needs children requires a certain amount of education and research before you make the decision. 

Special needs counselling

Adopting special needs children requires a certain amount of education and research before you make the decision. If you are considering adopting a child with special needs, you can reach out to us for counselling. Please contact

As per CARA’s definition, the adoption process in India puts children into two categories: Normal and Special Needs. More than 50 percent of children awaiting adoption in India fall into the special needs category.

(Note: While the more socially acceptable terms are Typical and Special Needs, this section will use Normal and Special Needs as these are the terms used by CARA)

What is special needs?

  1. Children who may require some medical care, or external resources, or extra parental care, or just even emotional support can get tagged as special needs children. These children are just like any other children, who need and deserve the opportunities and love of a family.
  2. Special needs is a catch-all category with a wide range of conditions, from mild/correctable health issues to those requiring long-term support.
  3. Special needs category encompasses all age groups, ranging from babies to older children.
  4. One can see the list of all children who fall in the special needs category and decide which child’s need one is best equipped to support.

Why adopt a child with special needs?

  1. The number of children awaiting adoption in the special needs category is HIGHER than the number of prospective parents wanting to adopt in this category. So if you are motivated to adopt a child with special needs, you can accept your child from the special need list with ZERO wait time. (For reference, the wait time in the normal category for children under the age of 8 years is at least 15 months).
  2. Every child deserves a loving family. Children with special needs grow beautifully and thrive in a supportive home environment. Parents who have adopted children with special needs will tell you that majority of the child’s post-adoption improvement happened just because the child came home.
  3. Special needs is an underrepresented category in India. While thousands of parents wait for years to get a child in the normal category, currently hundreds of children are waiting for parents in the special needs category. If you are adopting because you believe every child deserves a home, then consider looking at the special needs category.

Types of special needs

In the CARA system, currently all types of special needs get sub-categorised in two buckets: physical and mental. Hopefully this will change soon and there would be better sub-categories based on the child’s condition and need. In the meantime, you can understand the details of different types of special needs using this website: This is a US based website, so you can only use it to understand various special needs. It does not have the list of special needs children awaiting adoption in India — for that, you will need to register with CARA.



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