What kind of pre-adoption medical information will you receive about a child, and how do you assess it? A pediatrician with a specialty in adoption and foster care discusses.
By Deborah Borchers, M.D.
Adoption plans for children are made for a variety of reasons, including poverty, single-parent households, previous abuse and neglect, maternal physical and mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse (both prior to and after birth), and legal regulations of a given country. These reasons become factors in a child’s medical, developmental, and psychological future. That’s why it’s important to seek and understand a pre-adoption medical review. A review will address your concerns about the health of a child and help you give your child the best care.
Although many families focus on the country of a child’s birth in assessing health and development, this factor is not as important as the individual situation of a given child. Premature birth, poor prenatal nutrition, and living in an orphanage all play into the present and future health of a child. Families adopting outside the United States need to realize that children available for adoption overseas may have the same risk factors as children adopted from our own foster-care system…