Adoption and Financial Assistance: Tools for Navigating the Bureaucracy

By Rita Laws; Tim O'Hanlon | Go to book overview

5
Adoption Assistance:
Progress and Obstacles for
Adoptive Families

So many signatures for such a small heart.
--Mother Teresa, on filling out forms


SPECIAL NEEDS ADOPTION: THE ULTIMATE
VOLUNTEER PROGRAM

Amy Glenn is a single parent with three adoptive children. The family lives on a quiet street near a park in Princeton, New Jersey. Amy originally became involved in adoption while serving as a nurse in Harlem. She moved to Princeton to pursue graduate studies in Public Health at the university. Before Amy completed her Ph.D. dissertation, however, she succumbed to the call of adoption once again.

Although she was not looking to become a parent of children with problems, she eventually adopted Joseph, the survivor of a third-trimester abortion attempt, and Elizabeth, a child with a mysterious immune disorder that caused severe arthritic pains in her joints. The Glenns are truly a multicultural family: Joseph is of Indian heritage, Amy is Jewish, and Elizabeth and the latest addition, Sarah, are African-American.

Joseph, despite some learning disabilities, is growing into a bright, pleasant young man. Elizabeth, though subject to spells of recurring weakness and pain, is an outstanding student who manages to play soccer and ride her bike. The Glenns are a loving family that could well serve as a model for the benefits of adoption.

The family situation also reflects some typical obstacles encountered by parents who adopt children with special needs. Amy Glenn turned her back

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