Your child’s first doctor appointment should occur within the first 4 weeks of adoption. Our clients’ medical services vary around the world from language barriers, accessibility and quality. We encourage families to make arrangements to have a medical examination while in the United States, before returning to their host country. It is important to recognize now that as parents, we cannot be experts in all areas of our adopted child’s developmental needs, especially related to adoptive medical and mental health needs. It is crucial to build a supportive professional network. AAPA has created extensive pre-adoption, post adoption and family resource guides as a service for our clients. Please review these resource guides available on our website. If you have concerns, please contact your AAPA caseworker directly.
MEDICAL EXAMINATION TIPS:
The American Academy of Pediatrics has a comprehensive health evaluation for the newly adopted children. It addresses detailed information of what should be included in the medical checkup appointment for the following section:
Review of Medical History/Previous Records
Components of the Physical Examination
Evaluate Immunization Status
Other Screenings -hearing, vision, dental, and development screening/assessment/interventions
Behavior and Mental Health Screening
We encourage parents to print each table and follow up that the child receives each of the suggested evaluations.
The National Health Services provides a comprehensive list of questions to consider when caring for an adopted child with complex needs. These questions can help you process your child’s needs and what resources to consider:
What is the extent of my child's medical or physical disability (if they have one), and should we discuss this with a medical specialist?
What services does my child use at the moment (such as physiotherapy or speech therapy) and how frequent are the appointments, where are they held and who co-ordinates the medical services?
How can I care for my child's additional needs at home, as part of a daily routine?
What changes will I need to make to my home and car to support my child's condition? Is there funding available to make this possible?
What plans have been put in place to ensure continuity of care and ensure that all their medical records are transferred to their new general practitioner (GP)?
What benefits are my child and I entitled to after placement?
Does my child have a statement of special educational needs (SEN), and if so, what provisions does the statement include?
Would my child benefit from remaining in a class with younger children for a while, or even staying at home? What changes or adaptations should the school make?
If my child doesn't have a statement of SEN, is that because they don't have any special educational needs or because they don't have needs that require a statement?
If I think my child might have special educational needs that have not yet been identified, how should I go about getting an assessment?
Are there any hereditary health conditions in the child's birth and extended family that may appear later in their life?
How can we get further information about the child's family and medical history in the future?