Bill Klein and Jennifer Arnold's Special Needs Adoption


All countries have children waiting to be adopted and in need of loving families. The sad reality is that many children who are considered special needs will never be placed with a family of their own. While the adoption community celebrates all families wishing to expand their families through international adoption of a child in need, those families who choose specifically to adopt a special needs child hold a special place in our hearts.

My own faith in humanity was brightened when I learned Bill Klein and Jennifer Arnold, stars of TLC’s reality show “The Little Couple” reportedly just completed a special needs adoption from China, adopting a little boy considered a special needs child due to dwarfism. Their newly adopted son, three year old Will, was abandoned at birth and had little hope due to his special needs of ever being matched with a family. Enter Bill and Jennifer.

After Jennifer was told that pregnancy for her could be lethal, due to issues stemming from dwarfism, and after their surrogate suffered a miscarriage, the couple sought out international adoption of a special needs child in China and were matched with Will last fall and traveled in March to meet their child. Jennifer and Bill expressed an immediate connection to Will.

The term “special needs” encompasses a wide range of issues and not always necessarily physical or mental impairments. Some children are considered special needs because they are considered hard to place for reasons such as their age or they are in a sibling group that cannot be separated. Many special needs are considered minor and easily correctable, especially once the child arrives in the United States where they can receive proper and advanced medical care. With Will’s adoption by Jennifer, a physician practicing at a Houston children’s hospital, and Bill, Will will receive medical care that would not have been provided to him in China, not to mention the love and care of a forever family.

Homeland Security’s reports of international adoptions have shown a dramatic decrease in the number of international adoptions finalized by year and they are the lowest they have been In the last 15 years. Since 2007 adoptions have dramatically decreased from 19,000+ in 2007 to 11,000+ in 2011. This decrease has been caused by many factors both political and social and both domestically and internationally as well as the implementation of Hague Adoption Convention. The devastating effect of this reality is even worse for special needs children. Changing the climate of international adoption is imperative, especially for children who are hard to place.

We celebrate Bill and Jennifer’s choice to pursue the adoption of a special needs child, but there are still many more children still in need of a forever family, especially children considered hard to place or having special needs.

Can we really look into the eyes of these children and tell them hope is dwindling?

If you are interested in a special needs adoption please contact our special needs coordinator, Amy Moore at

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Sonja Brown works as the International Program Director for MLJ Adoptionsā€™ programs in Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti and Samoa. Sonja is also proud to work directly with our Individualized Country Program families who are adopting from countries where no adoption service providers currently operate.