The Adoption of Children with Special Needs in Hungary
There is a shortage of information when it comes to research findings regarding the kind of world that adoptive families and adopted children with disabilities live in. In Hungary this subject is tackled mostly by dissertations and informative texts. As for research papers, the emphasis is mainly on child protection or the broader issues of adoption. Consequently, in these papers disability as a phenomenon is only dealt with perfunctorily. Our paper is comprised of fourteen interviews giving an account of the process of adoption. These interviews provide us with an insight into a diversity of life stories and family models. In the course of our research we became increasingly convinced that all the families which had chosen to go in the direction of child adoption had some kind of previous experience on matters related to disability and child protection. As for the motivation of parents, neither faith nor religion was a definitive driving force behind their actions as these topics were either entirely neglected or were mentioned only in passing by the interviewees. None of the families regretted their decision to adopt. Based on the experience obtained in the process, none of those families would be opposed to a second adoption. Being fully aware of the course of action they were determined to follow, the ramifications of disability are in no way a challenge for them, although they need to deal with the consequences of secondary disabilities or chronic illnesses which were not visible at the time of adoption. Our research findings seem to underscore the fact that children with special needs belong to a heterogenous group of children whose adoption in Hungary today will be met with difficulties. However, a group of people who do not shrink from the issues accompanying adoption are parents who display a willingness to enlarge their family via the option of adopting a child with special needs. All of this seems to justify the argument that recommendations stemming from professional considerations and expert opinion should be put forward so that a much higher percentage of children with special needs might be transferred to the permanent care of adoptive families.