Being on disability does not automatically disqualify someone from adopting. However, the person wishing to adopt a child must show that they have sufficient income to support the child, that their health is good enough to be able to appropriately care for the child, that they are likely to be around long enough to raise the child to adulthood, and that the adoption is in the child's best interest.
What this means, in practical terms, is that adoption agencies rarely place adoptable children with persons who are on disability. The state agency that deals with abandoned and neglected children (usually the Dept. of Children's Services, the Dept. of Social Services, or something similar) might be more likely to place a child with them, especially if they were willing to consider a special needs child. They should check with that agency to see if they could be considered as potential adoptive parents.
Another option might be a direct placement adoption, where the parents agree to the adoption without having to go through an agency for placement (although an agency would have to be involved for the home studies & the reports to the court). In most states, the requirements for adoption of a child to whom one is related are easier to satisfy than the requirements for an adoption of a non-related child, so that is something to keep in mind if the opportunity arises.
Details for all types of adoptions vary from state to state. Therefore, I strongly suggest that your friends talk with an Alaskan adoption attorney who can more accurately advise them.
Good luck to you all!
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