The decision to adopt a child is one we take tremendous pride in supporting. Whether you are adopting an infant or an older child, a child born in the United States or a child from a foreign country, Worldwide Pediatrics has the experience and knowledge to ensure your loving relationship gets the healthiest start possible.
If you have any questions or want to schedule your child’s first visit to our office, feel free to contact us today.
We will provide you with a packet of resources available for adoptive families (which includes information and resources for first-time parents) and then sit with you to review the packet in detail. We will also review any information that has been provided to you by social services or the foreign orphanage to determine any potential medical or psychosocial risks. This will also be the time when we discuss how to minimize or overcome these risks. No matter how many referrals it takes to bring your child home, Worldwide Pediatrics will continue to work right alongside you every step of the way.
Our full-spectrum approach is divided into three separate areas: pre-adoptive, peri-adoptive and post-adoptive services. After reviewing hundreds of medical referrals from across the United States, China, Korea, Pery, Colombia, Vietnam, Guatemala, Panama, Russia, Ukraine and other parts of the world, we have a keen understanding of the medical and psychosocial issues typical of a particular location and we can also recommend effective solutions.
The actual trip to meet your soon-to-be-adopted child can an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. To help ease your worries or concerns, Worldwide Pediatrics will act as an on-call physician, ready to address any issues (expected or unexpected) that may arise during your trip. Should any medical conditions be known about prior to your trip, we will also prescribe medications for you to take with you so that you are prepared in the case of any emergencies.
Once your child is home, we will conduct a thorough medical evaluation, paying special attention to those issues identified in your pre-adoptive counseling session. At minimum this will include an evaluation of potential infectious disease issues, a review of vaccinations and any necessary catch-up vaccines, and a recommendation to your pediatrician for issues to be aware of for the future. Or, if convenient, Worldwide Pediatrics would be happy to become your pediatricians.
When it comes to adopting a child, particularly one from a foreign country, it is important to understand the special attention some of these children need. Sometimes these issues require just a bit of patience. Other times it may require some individualized medical attention. In either case, a little knowledge and a little love can make a world of difference.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Sadly, some children are exposed to alcohol by their birth mothers during pregnancy. A great deal of these children are said to have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Depending on the level and duration of exposure, symptoms may range from hyperactivity (ADHD) to physical abnormalities or developmental delays. Asking for a complete family medical history (if available) can help identify children at risk for FASD. Begin by assessing your comfort level. Your child may simply need more patience and help adjusting to environments or he or she may require therapy or long-term care. The nature of FASD is that it can be difficult to know the extent to which any child is affected. However, there are a number of resources for parents of children of FASD:
Most often seen in children over the age of three or four, attachment problems, also known as Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), is a real psychosocial issue. Because adoptive children are often in large-group-care scenarios, they may not receive much or any individualized attention when first learning to trust people. For infants and young children, the world can be a scary place, and without a dedicated early caregiver they can become “closed off” from people – even if those people have the best intentions. It takes a considerable investment of time, patience and guidance, but often these children grow to be confident, secure and loving individuals – a reflection of the parents that adopted them.
For international adoptions, it is important to realize that foreign countries do not all have the same access to health care or the same standards for immunization. Because of this, diseases that are virtually unheard of in the United States can be common among children in other nations. These include, but are not limited to:
- Hepatitis (A,B and C)
- Pertussis (whooping cough)
- HIV (passed from mother to child during birth)
- Syphilis (passed from mother to child during birth)
- Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
- Avian Influenza
Thankfully, Worldwide Pediatrics has enough experience with all of these conditions to be able to resolve curable issues and recommend effective treatment plans for chronic conditions.
“Love this office, the staff is very friendly and professional. Dr Millon and Dr Castillo are the sweetest making my LO feel comfortable in every appointment.”
Frequently Asked Questions
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