By Jenny Pope
DALLAS, Texas – Buckner Adoption and Maternity Services places dozens of children into loving families each year through domestic open adoption. But this year, there is one child who needs a family more than ever.
Seven-month-old Alan* was born with Spina bifida, a developmental birth defect where a child’s spinal cord protrudes through the vertebrae and fills with fluid. Doctors performed surgery shortly after his birth and were successful in repairing the rupture, but it has caused a number of medical difficulties for this playful and happy baby, said Leah Gilliam, Buckner adoption counselor.
“He is paralyzed from the knees down and will probably always need assistance to walk,” she said.
Gilliam said parents Alicia, 16, and Robert, 17, had made a decision to place Alan for adoption before he was born. “They’re teenagers and they knew they couldn’t provide the family he needed,” she said.
But when Alan was born with special needs and there weren’t any available adoptive families, they decided to take him home and try parenting, Gilliam explained.
“Within a few months they realized they were unable to provide for him the way they had hoped. We’ve been spreading the word around the state through our other foster care and adoption offices to try and find an adoptive family, but we haven’t been successful,” she said.
Buckner would like to place Alan into an adoptive family in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to support an open relationship, but Sherri, Alan’s birth grandmother and primary caregiver for the past seven months, said a family who is willing to love and nurture Alan is the most important thing.
“He deserves a family who can give him more than we’re able to,” she said.
Buckner is looking for a family who is willing to maintain an open relationship with Alan’s birth parents and capable of helping him with his special needs. For more information about this child or the adoption process, please contact Buckner Adoption and Maternity Services at 214-319-3426.
*Name changed to protect identity.
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