Pre-adoption medical assessment - what things to consider?

Susan Fernandez March 03 2022

Pre-adoption is the process of preparing for the arrival of a new family member. It can be an exciting and emotional time, but it's also a lot of work. There are many things to think about and do before adoption day.

Let`s start

Here are some tips to help you get started on your pre-adoption child process:

  1. Choose the right adoption agency or professional. Do your research and ask around. Find an agency or professional that you feel comfortable with and that you trust.
  2. Get your finances in order. Adopting a child can be expensive. Start saving now, or look into grants and other financial assistance programs that may be available to help with the costs of adoption.
  3. Learn about the different types of adoptions. There are many different ways to adopt a child. Be sure to do your research and understand the process before you begin.
  4. Start building your support system. Adoption can be a challenging journey. It’s important to have a supportive network of family and friends to help you through the process.
  5. Begin gathering paperwork and documents. There is a lot of paperwork involved in adoption. Start collecting the necessary documents now to make the process go more smoothly.
  6. Be prepared for an emotional roller coaster. The adoption process can be full of ups and downs. It’s important to be prepared for the emotional highs and lows that may come along the way.
  7. Have patience and stay positive. The adoption process can take time, so it’s important to be patient. Try to stay positive throughout the process and know that it will all be worth it in the end.

All in all, adoption is a wonderful way to build a family. By following these tips, you can make the pre-adoption process a little bit easier.

What to expect before adoption?

Before you get your child, there are a lot of things that need to happen first. The agency will likely do a home study, which is when someone comes to your house and talks to you about your life and why you want to adopt. You'll also need to get fingerprints and background checks and have a health checkup. All of this can take some time, so it's important to be patient.

Once all of the paperwork is in order, you'll be matched with a child. This is when you'll find out everything about them, including their name, age, and where they're from. It's an exciting time, but it can also be nerve-wracking. You'll want to make sure you're prepared for everything before you bring your new child home.

There is a short list of things to expect during pre-adoption.

Home study: A social worker will visit your home to make sure it’s safe and appropriate for a child. You can always ask questions about the home study process.

Fingerprints and background checks: You and your family members will need to have these done. They help make sure that people who adopt children are safe.

Health checkup: A doctor will make sure you’re healthy enough to care for a child.

Matching with a child: Once all of your paperwork is in order, you’ll be matched with a child. This is when you’ll find out everything about them, including their name, age, and where they’re from.

Preparing for your new child: Once you know which child you’re going to adopt, you can start preparing for their arrival. This includes getting your home ready and buying supplies.

Adoption day: This is the big day! You’ll meet your new child and bring them home with you. It’s an exciting, but also a nerve-wracking, time.

Post-adoption: After your adoption is finalized, there are still a few things to do. You’ll need to get your child a social security number and birth certificate. You might also want to join an adoptive parent support group.

These are just a few things to expect during the pre-adoption process. It can be a lot of work, but it’s all worth it in the end. congratulations on taking this journey!

Pre-adoption medical assessment: what is it?

If other points of the pre-adoption period are clear, this one is usually shrouded in mystery. It is an important part of the puzzle, however. A pre-adoption medical assessment is a complete physical examination of the child being adopted, conducted by a licensed physician. It is also sometimes called a “foreign adoption medical exam” or “intercountry adoption medical exam.”

The purpose of the pre-adoption medical assessment is to:

  • Ensure that the child is healthy and does not have any undiagnosed medical conditions
  • Detect any treatable medical conditions so that they can be treated before the child is placed in the home
  • Provide information to the adoptive parents about the health of their new child

The pre-adoption medical assessment must be conducted by a licensed physician, although the specific requirements vary by country. In some countries, the assessment must be conducted by a physician who is designated by the adoption agency or government, while in others any licensed physician can conduct the assessment.

The pre-adoption medical assessment usually includes a complete physical examination, as well as immunizations and laboratory tests as needed. The specific tests and immunizations required vary by country, but may include tests for infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV, and hepatitis B; vaccinations for polio, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and measles; and a lead poisoning screening test.

Pre-adoption medical assessments are important not only for the child’s health but also for the peace of mind of the adoptive parents. The information gathered during the assessment can help the parents understand their child’s health history and prepare for any possible medical needs that may arise in the future.

What to watch for during medical assessment?

For many parents that is the time when they hear about health problems for the first time. It is not unusual for children adopted from abroad to have minor health problems that were not detected or treated in their country of origin. These can include anything from hearing loss to heart defects. More serious health conditions are also possible, although they are less common. These may include birth defects, genetic disorders, and infectious diseases.

Pay attention to head size, heart rate, and respiration

When the child is first examined, the physician will take measurements of the head circumference, heart rate, and respiratory rate. These are important signs of overall health and can help to detect a number of possible health problems.

A small head circumference can be a sign of a birth defect or genetic disorder, such as microcephaly or Down syndrome. A large head circumference can also be a sign of a health problem, such as hydrocephalus (a build-up of fluid in the brain).

An abnormal heart rate or respiratory rate can be a sign of a number of different health conditions, including congenital heart defects, infections, and asthma.

Look for any obvious physical abnormalities

The physician will also look for any obvious physical abnormalities. These can include birth defects, such as cleft lip or palate, or physical abnormalities that may be a sign of a genetic disorder, such as extra fingers or toes (polydactyly).

The physician will also check for signs of malnutrition, such as stunted growth, and for any injuries that may have occurred during the child’s time in an orphanage or other institution.

Check for evidence of infectious diseases

The pre-adoption medical assessment will also include tests for evidence of infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, HIV, and hepatitis B. These tests are important not only for the child’s health but also for the safety of the adoptive family and others who may come into contact with the child.

In some cases, the physician may also recommend that the child be vaccinated against certain diseases, such as polio, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and measles. These vaccinations are important not only for the child’s health but also for the protection of others who may come into contact with the child.

Social skills

During the pre-adoption medical assessment, the physician will also assess the child’s social skills. This assessment is important not only for the child’s well-being but also for the adoptive parents, as it can help them to understand the child’s needs and how best to meet them.

The physician will look for signs of attachment disorder, such as a lack of eye contact, failure to respond to affection, or a lack of interest in other people. The physician will also assess the child’s ability to interact with others and to express emotions.

The pre-adoption medical assessment is also an opportunity for the physician to assess the child’s emotional state. This assessment is important not only for the child’s well-being but also for the adoptive parents, as it can help them to understand the child’s needs and how best to meet them. The physician will look for signs of anxiety, depression, or other mental health disorders. The physician will also assess the child’s coping skills and ability to deal with stress.

What results should you neglect and what to emphasize?

Among all the results of pre-adoption medical assessment, you need to pay attention to head size, heart rate, and respiration. These are important signs of overall health and can help to detect a number of possible health problems. If any abnormalities are found, further testing may be needed to determine the cause and whether or not it is treatable. In some cases, the child may need to be seen by a specialist.

You can pay no regard for such results of the medical assessment as weight and height. They can give an idea of whether a child is malnourished but they are not as important as head size, heart rate, and respiration.

You should also pay attention to any evidence of infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, HIV, and hepatitis B. These tests are important not only for the child’s health but also for the safety of the adoptive family and others who may come into contact with the child. In some cases, the physician may also recommend that the child be vaccinated against certain diseases, such as polio, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and measles. These vaccinations are important not only for the child’s health but also for the protection of others who may come into contact with the child.

Finally, you should also pay attention to the child’s social skills. This assessment is important not only for the child’s well-being but also for the adoptive parents, as it can help them to understand the child’s needs and how best to meet them.

What do you need to check after adoption?

You may want to make another appointment with a doctor to do a full assessment, which may include:

  • Taking your child's medical history
  • Conducting a physical examination
  • Assessing your child's development
  • Reviewing immunization records
  • Ordering laboratory tests or X-rays, if needed
  • Providing guidance on keeping your child healthy and safe

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all children, regardless of where they were born or whether they have special needs, should receive a medical assessment within two weeks after adoption.

If your child was born in the United States, he or she should have had a complete physical examination before leaving the hospital. If not, make sure to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. If your child was born outside the United States or if you're not sure whether he or she received a complete physical examination, the AAP recommends that you schedule an appointment with a doctor within two weeks after adoption.

During this visit, be sure to tell the doctor about any health problems that your child has had and get copies of immunization records, if available. If you don't have immunization records, the doctor may recommend that your child be vaccinated according to the recommended schedule for all children.

Be sure to ask the doctor about any health concerns that you have about your child. You may also want to ask for advice on how to care for a child with special needs, if applicable. It's also a good idea to talk to the doctor about your family medical history, as this can help identify any potential health risks for your child.