Health problems in international adoption

Abstract Objective To determine whether adopted youth are at excess risk for clinically relevant behavioral and emotional problems. Design We examined whether adopted and non-adopted adolescents differed on quantitative indicators of mental health and the prevalence of childhood disorders, and whether differences exist between internationally and domestically placed adoptees. Setting Assessments occurred at the University of Minnesota from

Health problems in international adoption

Advanced Search Abstract Nearlychildren have been adopted from other countries by American parents since Approximately 65, children have arrived from China and Russia, mostly in the past 6 years.

Most of these children reside in orphanages before adoption, where they may experience malnutrition, environmental deprivation, neglect, and exposure to infectious diseases. After arrival to the United States, international adoptees should undergo specialized screening evaluation for infectious diseases and other conditions.

Infectious conditions of special concern include hepatitis B and C, syphilis, human immunodeficiency virus infection, tuberculosis, and presence of intestinal parasites.

Information for Parents, Adoption Providers, and Clinicians

Before the adoption occurs, the infectious disease consultant may be asked to assist the primary care provider and the adoptive family with advice about travel and review of preadoptive medical records. Sincenearlychildren from other countries have been adopted by American families.

Health problems in international adoption

More than 21, children have arrived in ; all indications suggest that this number will continue to increase [ 1 ]. Sincethe top 4 birth countries have consistently been Russia, China, South Korea, and Guatemala. Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Romania, and Vietnam have also been frequent birth countries in the past decade.

The living circumstances of children before adoption vary greatly. Most such children reside in orphanages, where they may experience malnutrition, emotional and physical neglect, environmental deprivation, and exposure to infectious diseases. Children in South Korea, and sometimes those in Guatemala, are notable exceptions, because most reside in foster care before adoption.

Regardless of country of origin, internationally adopted children have often experienced many perinatal complications, including low birth weight, prematurity, no prenatal care, and prenatal exposure to drugs and alcohol. International adoption medicine, a relatively new specialty in pediatrics, has emerged to address the specific health care needs of these children after arrival in the United States and of their prospective parents before the adoption [ 2 ].

One of the primary concerns of international adoption medicine is the evaluation of international adoptees for infectious diseases, as for other immigrant children [ 3—14 ]. Rather, the list of infectious diseases identified in international adoptees is relatively short and is consistent from country to country.

It includes tuberculosis, hepatitis B and C, HIV infection, syphilis, intestinal infections with parasites, enteric bacteria, or Helicobacter pyloriskin infections especially scabiesand the occasional vaccine-preventable disease.

The infectious diseases consultant contributes greatly to the care of international adoptees, both before and after arrival in the United States, by interpreting preadoptive medical and vaccine records, offering travel advice, and providing care for infectious diseases after arrival.

This review will discuss these topics; details about specific infections and their management can be found in standard references. Other concerns of international adoption medicine, including growth and developmental delays, microcephaly, rickets, anemia, lead poisoning, emotional and behavioral issues, school problems, and precocious puberty, have been recently reviewed elsewhere [ 1015 ].

Medical Issues in International Adoption: Guide for Parents

Preadoptive Medical Records Infectious diseases. All children placed for international adoption undergo medical evaluations in their birth countries.

Prospective parents often consult a physician for assistance in interpreting the sometimes arcane terminology in these reports e. These diagnoses rarely denote the presence of chronic or worrisome conditions.

Some children have had multiple hospitalizations for infections; frequently, this is done to minimize the spread of contagious diseases rather than because the child was seriously ill.Adopted kids are at an increased risk for mental health issues for a host of reasons, and again these reasons vary by the type of adoption (domestic infant, foster care and international adoption).

Stress during pregnancy. Issues In International Adoptions Kathryn Patricelli, MA Additional issues faced by those adopting internationally may include language barriers or language delays, special health issues, questions about the child's age, and cultural issues.

What are the health issues in international adoption?

Preadoptive Medical Records

Experts in international adoption medicine stress that the child’s country of origin is less important than the individual child’s circumstances. Parents should be prepared for possible challenges during the adoption process and be aware that sometimes the process can be lengthy.

Children born in other areas of the world may have different health problems from those of children raised in the United States. Learn about common health issues in the country your child comes from. Approximately 50% of internationally adopted children will have a medical diagnosis that is not obvious from a physical examination.

These include physical illnesses, such as rickets, and developmental problems, such as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Health issues will sometimes appear for no good reason in previously healthy children, both children of adoption and birth children.

Generally, children are placed for international adoption due to abandonment, poverty, illness or death of parents, or severe family dysfunction (such as alcoholism, drug abuse, child abuse, or child neglect).

Health and Developmental Issues of Internationally Adopted Children