Medical Advice For International Adoption

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Coming to the decision to adopt internationally initiates an extraordinary journey. For a number of families, adopting internationally is the most exciting and important event in their life leading to the fulfillment of having a child and completing their dreams of a family. While this procedure can guide you to success it is not always easy and has quite a few risks associated with it. One of the risks of international adoption is to figure out why children are available for adoption. The biggest reason for availability is poverty. With poverty comes health risk. It is not meant that all children are frail, but to recognize that a primary issue to plan for in your international adoption is how to assess and screen for health issues. While educating yourself is the 1st step in health assessment, choosing an internationally experienced physician for check up is the most essential step.

Because health risk is the most significant issue for any international adoption, the ability to find out the medical info about the child and processing this info correctly is essential. Using a characteristic Russian adoption as our example for discussion, a family would either be sent medical report before traveling or would be permitted to review the referral child's medical records during the 1st visit to meet the child. The medicals are written in Russian and require translation. Such translations can be intricate and can possibly contain errors that an inexpert person may not recognize. Moreover, the Russian medical system is not the same as the United States system. An example is in diagnosing. Those familiar with Russian medicals realize that the Russian doctors are often more severe and critical medically and they are inclined to state a diagnosis with little or no substantiation. On the contrary, a US doctor will usually only diagnose when there is verifiable evidence to support the diagnosis.

Early in our adoption experience at Adoption Options, Inc. we would bring older kids to the US via our Cherry Orchard program as a host program. These children were from five years of age to 12 years of age. These children would live with host families and be afforded the opportunity to meet likely adoptive parents. As part of this program we would co-ordinate for the children to be medically evaluated. During one particular program, we set up with the director of pediatrics of a university teaching hospital to evaluate the children using his residents. The director had extensive international experience. The evaluations consisted of reviewing the medical records provided by the Russian authorities and undertaking a cursory physical check of each of the children. At the end of the evaluations this physician invited us to attend a teaching symposium with the evaluating residents where each junior doctor offered their results. The striking outcome was that after each presentation he informed each of the residents as to the mistakes of their findings based upon his international exposure. The lesson to understand was that families do not need just any evaluation but one done by a physician that had international experience.

Fortunately for families who wish to adopt children there are a number of physicians and clinics in the United States that are competent and offer helpful evaluations. You can locate such services by asking your local adoption agency, your placement agency, your local country specific support group, or by searching over the internet. The services provided vary greatly, so discussing with people who have already availed their services can assist a lot. If the country with which you are doing your adoption allows it may be possible to arrange for an independent adoption doctor to appraise on site during your first trip.

Screening for health issues is totally vital with international adoptions. It definitely adds to the cost but this is not something anyone should ever try to shortcut. Adopting children internationally is a practical way to complete your family but it does need you to be prepared.

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