San Jose family hoping to adopt special needs baby faces challenge

Byby Janine DelaVega via KGO logo
Thursday, December 7, 2017
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A special needs baby born to a young mother on drugs is getting help from a San Jose woman who chose to adopt the baby girl, but she ran into an obstacle and time is running out.

SAN JOSE (KGO) -- A special needs baby born to a young mother on drugs is getting help from a San Jose family. The mother has chosen them to adopt her newborn, but they've run into an obstacle and time is running out.

Little Delilah may look like a happy healthy baby, but the four month old was born with a brain deformity related to dwarfism and doctors say she shows signs of cerebral palsy. Her mother Ashley Rose was pregnant at 19 and couch surfing after aging out of foster care. "Twenty different foster homes, group homes, I was in trouble. I was doing drugs, drinking," said Rose.

Shellie Nichol heard about Rose when someone contacted her through her nonprofit called Project Foster Care. "I just thought I'm going to get this girl, we're going to get her set up. I had lots of connections, you know we'll get her healthy, we'll help her keep her baby," said Nichol.

Nichol took in Rose and helped her get sober, enroll in school and get a job. Nichol was at Delilah's birth and has been raising her ever since. Rose now wants Nichol to privately adopt Delilah. "People have a misconception that a disabled child will not bring joy or that they're somehow a burden and these children bring so much joy and they teach you things about yourself you don't know," said Nichol.

But with legal and state fees, the adoption costs more than $10,000. Nichol said state social services told her she must pay before the end of the month or her case will close and she will lose the money she's already spent. She and Rose fear Delilah could go to foster care. "I'm nervous that she's going to get taken away and that's something I get scared of because this is her home, she belongs here, she doesn't belong with anyone else," said Rose.

Click here to help Nichol with the adoption fees and medical expenses.