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International Adoption Doctors: What You Need To Know

Special Needs Adoption How To Adopt Pre-Adoption Medical

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  Written by EAC on 19 Oct 2016

When you are considering international adoption, you’ll have many things on your mind: travel, language barriers, navigating the complex rules and regulations of any given country’s adoption policies, and much more. At the top of that list will be your child’s (or future child’s) health.

Children adopted from foreign countries may have medical needs that differ from your biological child’s. This is especially true if the child you are adopting spent time in an institution, such as an orphanage.

Thankfully, there are doctors who specialize in dealing with the unique physical, mental, and emotional needs of children adopted internationally. These are doctors who know the ins and outs of international law and healthcare, how to obtain medical records that may not be easily obtained, and more.

Remember, a good international adoption doctor must show a willingness to learn about other countries and cultures, knowledge of overseas medical practices, and the ability to interpret foreign medical paperwork.

When adopting a child from overseas, these skills are invaluable. It’s important to remember that there may be ailments or conditions more common in your child’s birth county than here in the United States, and it may be more difficult in some cases to get a complete medical history on your child unless you have assistance.

Therefore, ways such a physician could assist an adopting family include:

  • Assessing your child’s current and potentially future medical needs

  • Explaining foreign medical paperwork and/or terminology

  • Assessment of your child’s progress since adoption

  • Enlighten and educate you on medical practices in your child’s birth country

  • Offer familiarity of genetic conditions more common overseas

  • Consult with specialists based on your child’s specific needs

  • Navigate foreign agencies in order to obtain more accurate medical histories

With this in mind, it becomes clear that choosing an international adoption physician could be an important choice for you to make. 

Tips for choosing the right doctor for your child:

  • Make a list of your child’s unique needs

  • Get referrals from other adoptive parents

  • Interview them & get to know doctors you are considering

  • Check to see if they are on EAC’s list of international adoption physicians

  • Research their reviews and online profile

Basically, the same rules apply to finding an international adoption physician as you might use to find a pediatrician, with the added necessity of ensuring they are familiar with the complexities of medical practices and conditions abroad, specifically those of your child’s birth country.

The good news is, as a caring parent it is within your grasp to conduct the necessary research, ask the question that need to be asked, and find a doctor who will help make your adoption a happier, healthier one.



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