After reading about clubfoot and the treatment and outcome for these children, you may then be considering if you have the resources to adopt a child with clubfoot. As nearly all of us would answer if we gave birth to a child with clubfoot, we would definitely be prepared to do what it takes to see that our child got the treatment necessary.
In adopting a child, this can-and-will-do attitude is a plus. But adoption does include choices, and when you are considering adoption, knowing what will work with your family’s lifestyle can make the transition of having a new child in the home much easier. After all, children who come from an orphanage or foster home into new adoptive families can have other adjustment issues as well.
When adopting a child with clubfoot, you may plan on taking your child to an orthopedic specialist, but if your child also has more serious attachment issues, your child may need much more of your time than you anticipated. The type and level of care may be different than what you first envisioned.
So here are some questions you may want to ask if you are considering adopting a child with clubfoot:
- Do I have a schedule where I can be available to take a child to a specialist every few weeks to have new casts put on?
- Do I have the strength and stamina to carry a child around or push a child in a stroller who cannot walk?
- Will I be able to take a child to a physical therapist and follow-up with the exercises at home?
- How will I balance my child’s needs to be confined to casts and then braces for extended period of time with my child’s need to trust me to do what is best?
- How will other children in the family fare as I care for a child who needs this extra care?
- What type of treatment centers are nearby?
- Will our health insurance cover most of the treatment or can I go to a facility such as the Shriners Hospital to receive care at cost to my family?
One mother, whose son was treated for clubfoot at Shriners Hospital said that they billed their insurance and the family did not pay for anything—not even for orthotics, braces, surgery, etc. The physician was open to a variety of treatment options and really looked at each child on a case-by-case basis. The staff were very child-centered and extremely trauma-sensitive. The adoptive mom’s son had an attachment disorder, and the staff worked with the family through each step to make things go as
smoothly as possible.
The bottom line is that, while challenging, meeting the needs of a child with clubfoot is doable as long as you are committed to the process. Many resources are available, and most of these children can participate in the same activities as other children.
If you would like more information about adopting a child with clubfoot or a child from China with other types of special needs, please contact Lisa@nightlight.org. You can go to the Nightlight website to register to receive Constant Contact information about specific children from China available for adoption.