PREPARATION FOR THE ADOPTION OF A MINOR
Adopting a child may be a life-changing experience for many individuals and their families. Before and after adoption, there are a few things to be aware of regarding the child’s health and medical treatment.
What Kinds of Adoptions Are There?
You can meet one or both birth parents in an open adoption. Health and family history information about the child should be available to you.
The adoptive parents and birth parents are unable to communicate in a closed adoption. Thus, it may be more challenging to get through health data. The adoption agency or lawyer can help you obtain a copy of the child’s medical records.
Adopting an older child? First, you should spend time with them or be their foster parent to have a better sense of their mental health.
Adopting a Child: What Do I Need to Know First?
Try to obtain as much information as possible before you adopt, such as:
- child’s genetic predisposition to health concerns
- drank alcohol, smoked, or used drugs while pregnant
- of any kind of diagnostic procedure
- A child’s immunization record includes information on their growth and, if they are already in school, their performance there as well as their character traits, passions, and connections with people as well as the places they have lived (such as foster care, group home, or orphanage)
- any kind of abuse or neglect, whether physical, sexual, or emotional.
A foster care organization may be able to tell you where the child received medical care while in their care, allowing you to either use those providers or have the records forwarded to a doctor if you adopt a child from them. Avoiding unneeded vaccinations and tests can benefit your child in the long run.
You’re more likely to acquire a child’s picture in international adoptions. Still, you may not have access to trustworthy, complete health and family information. If you can, travel to meet the child before adopting them. The US Department of State has information on international adoption procedures.
Pre-Adoption Medical Checkups
To prepare for adoption, you may want to see a doctor check through the child’s medical and social history. The doctor’s job is to help you make sense of your child’s medical history and prepare you for what to expect in the future. Determine whether or not the child and circumstances are a good fit for your family with this information.
A doctor who specializes in adoption medicine may be able to help you if you’re thinking about international adoption. When it comes to adoptive children’s health and wellbeing, an adoption medicine doctor is a valuable resources that can help families find the right services and support. Their specialty is their expertise in international medical records and knowledge of distinct health concerns from various countries.
Before the kid’s arrival, you and all family members and other close contacts (such as caretakers) should be up-to-date on all routine immunizations, including hepatitis B and A vaccines. It is also suggested by the CDC that parents traveling to a foreign country with their child receive immunizations for travel.
Proof of immunization or negative testing for COVID-19 could also be required before returning to the United States.
Adopting a Child with Special Health Care Requirements Children with special health care needs may require additional assistance with medical, developmental, learning, behavioral, or psychological difficulties.. problems.
Do your research if you’re considering adopting a kid who has a medical issue or other special needs. Before making a final choice on adoption, talk to a doctor about the specific care they may require and how you can prepare. Before and after the adoption, the parents of other children with similar issues can be a valuable resource.
Medications The Moment Your Child Returns to Your House
Your child should see a doctor specializing in caring for adopted children as soon as possible after moving in with you. Any medical, developmental, or behavioral concerns can be confirmed and treated by the doctor. If tests or referrals are required, the doctor will order them.
Some adoptive children may need to be vaccinated again due to incomplete or erroneous immunization records. The doctor may test antibodies from previous vaccinations or diseases.
Health issues that can arise include the following:
Suppose the doctor has access to the child’s medical history, an examination, and knowledge of the child’s ethnic background. In that case, they may wish to search for:
- lead levels in the blood
- delays in a child’s development
- viral infections of the liver, such as hepatitis B and C
- HIV-infected parasites in the gastrointestinal tract
- issues with hearing or eyesight
- metabolic disease
- mental health or behavioral issues
- Regarding the consequences of fetal alcohol syndrome on the fetus
- thyroid issues
- decaying teeth
Adopted children are prone to colds, mild infections, stomach upsets, and diarrhea shortly after moving into their new homes. This is not uncommon. As a youngster adapts to a new environment, these symptoms normally subside. If you have any concerns about your child’s health, don’t hesitate to call the doctor.
Facilitating the Shift
Be aware of your child’s everyday habits and interests before deciding to adopt them. To make the transition easier for the child, stick to a regular schedule and serve familiar foods. Make your child’s new home a secure and loving place.
Suppose you’re adopting an older child, a child who has lived in numerous homes, or a child who doesn’t speak your language. In that case, it may be difficult to adjust to their new surroundings. Tempers flare, crying is prevalent, and sleep and feeding issues (such as hoarding food and overeating) are typical in children. Some children available for adoption may have been traumatized and require more care and attention. Ask your care team for advice on assisting your child adjust to this new phase of their life.
Helpful related article: Parenting on a Dare, Tips for a Blended Family Working Together to Overcome Challenges, My Story As a Teen Mom