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Pre-Adoption Services

The Adoption Health Service at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital offers a variety of pre-adoptive services tailored to meet each family's individual needs. Whether you have no medical information or detailed reports, our experts can provide you with information and tools needed to make a decision in the child’s best interest. Our goal is to provide education and evaluation of information that will allow thoughtful consideration to be made regarding the very important decision regarding whether or not to accept an adoption referral. Pre-adoption consultations take approximately one and one half to two hours. During these extensive meetings, our experts help you to understand the special needs of children from orphanages and other settings abroad. As part of the pre-adoption consultation our specialists provide you with information on potential health problems in your particular area of travel and advice on preventive measures that can help you stay well.

If families have medical information on a prospective child, it can be forwarded it to our clinic at least 24 hours prior to the appointment time. Families will schedule a time to consult with an Adoption Health Service expert either in person at our office or via telephone to review the specific medical information as well as general information about all children coming from institutional or foster care environments. In situations where a family will not receive individual information about a child until they are actually traveling overseas, we are committed to providing timely feedback to families regarding medical information that can be emailed to us during travel. Close communication with our medical staff is encouraged throughout the pre-adoptive process, and we are available to answer any subsequent questions with families both prior to and during international travel.

Post-Adoption and Follow-Up Assessment

Once you bring your child home, a complete medical assessment can help uncover any potential health, developmental or behavioral issues your new family may face. Once your travel dates are finalized, we recommend scheduling a post adoption assessment for one to two weeks after your child's arrival in the United States. With attachment to the new family always in the forefront, in addition to a detailed physical examination, our physicians routinely screen for hepatitis B and C, HIV, syphilis, tuberculosis, rickets, intestinal pathogens, elevated blood lead levels, metabolic disorders and anemia. We offer comprehensive immunization screening to ensure that your child is protected without receiving unnecessary additional shots.

Our experts also screen for developmental delays, often present in children form Institutional settings. Detailed developmental tools are used to establish a baseline assessment of development from which to track developmental progress in the coming months and years. A critical assessment of behavior and potential risk of attachment disorder is completed. You and your child's pediatrician will receive detailed recommendations about any interventions your child may need and suggestions on how to best help your child thrive in a new environment.

During the critical post-adoptive period when your child is adjusting to your home, we provide periodic developmental and behavioral assessments to evaluate your child's mental, physical and emotional growth & development. These follow-up visits are generally scheduled for three months, six months and twelve months after the initial visit. The results of these assessments are shared with your child's pediatrician to ensure that your child receives continuity of care.

From time to time, families can become involved in a number of research initiatives that are designed to help physicians and families provide the best possible care for children who are adopted from other countries. This important work enables us to learn from one another and our patients - with the hope of improving the care of children, such as your own, in the future.