No matter what kind of adoption you’re doing, it’s smart to enlist a pediatrician before you make any other decisions. The American Academy of Pediatrics has a section for adoption medicine, with a directory of members.
From evaluating the medical details in an adoption referral to adoption travel to post-adoption checkups, doctors who specialize in the field of adoption medicine offer expert guidance to help parents ensure that their children receive needed medical care and grow up in good health.
Before you choose your adoption path, talk to an adoption pediatrician about risk factors and complications related to prenatal drug and alcohol use.
Experts in international adoption medicine stress that the country of origin is less important than the individual child’s circumstances. Children with disastrous, life-long problems can be born to healthy couples in wealthy countries; perfectly healthy babies can emerge from chaos and poverty.
All parents, biological or adoptive, want perfect children, and all realistic parents understand that there is some risk in having children by any method.
Some adoptions don’t end well. Were we wrong to be afraid?
Child psychiatrists believe that children lay down emotional patterns, beginning in infancy. A child who does not experience consistent affection may never learn to feel or express affection for others. This syndrome is called “attachment disorder” or “reactive attachment disorder” (RAD).
If you know nothing about the birth family’s medical history, or your child’s medical records are incomplete, you’ll want a medical professional with first-rate diagnostic skills to focus on areas of possible concern.
We are in the process of adopting a child who may have been exposed to drugs prenatally. How can I learn more about this topic?
Peg Studaker, supervisor of the Waiting International Child Program at Children’s Home Society and Family Services, in Minnesota, says: “Parenting children with special needs should be a family’s first choice. Adopting a special-needs child should never be a second choice because the family could not get the child they really wanted to parent.”
We’ve heard from our agency that we’ll be receiving an adoption referral soon. What medical information will it contain, and how should we assess it?
I always knew I wanted to grow my family through adoption.
My insurance company is refusing to cover medical expenses for my new child. Help!
What is important when choosing an adoption pediatrician? Our adoption medicine expert has answers.
“The baby we’re adopting may have been exposed to drugs in utero. What does this mean for our child?”
What do parents need to know about medical history when adopting a foster child?
Adapt this letter to your child's situation.
It makes sense to have your child’s vision and hearing screened as soon as you come home.
Choose wisely — your internationally or domestically adopted child’s pediatrician will play an important role throughout his growing years.
My family and I are traveling to meet our new baby. What medical preparations should I make?
We were told that our daughter was six when she was adopted, but she seems much younger. Is there a medical test to determine her age accurately?