Coming to the choice to adopt internationally initiates an unforgettable journey. For many families, adopting internationally will be the most major event of their lives leading to the fulfillment of having a kid and completing their dreams of a family. Although this route can take you to success it is not always easy and has quite a few risks associated with it. One of the issues of international adoption is to understand why children are available for adoption. The chief reason for availability is poverty. With poor income comes health risk. I do not mean to say that all children are unhealthy, but to realize that a primary issue to plan for in your international adoption is how to figure out health issues. While educating yourself is the first step in health assessment, selecting an physician of international repute for advice is the most essential step.
Since health risk is the most important risk factor for any international adoption, the ability to find out the medical info about the child and processing this info correctly is vital. Considering a representative Russian adoption as our model for discussion, a family would either receive a medical report prior to traveling or would be permitted to review the referral child’s medical reports during the 1st visit to meet the child. The medicals are written in Russian and need translation. Translations like these can be complex and can possibly contain mistakes that an inexpert person may not be able to identify. Moreover, the Russian medical system is not the same as the US system. An example is in diagnosing. Anyone accustomed with Russian medicals realize that the Russian medical professionals are generally more harsh and critical medically and they tend to make diagnosis without substantiation. In contrast, a US doctor will usually only make a diagnosis when there is substantiating proof to support the diagnosis.
In the beginning at Adoption Options, Inc. we would bring older children to the US via our Cherry Orchard program as a host program. These children were from five years of age to twelve years of age. They would stay with host families and be afforded the chance to meet potential adoptive parents. As part of this activity we would co-ordinate for the children to be medically evaluated. During one particular program, we arranged with the director of pediatrics of a university teaching hospital to evaluate the children using his residents. He had vast international experience. The assessments were made up of reviewing the medical records provided by the Russian authorities and doing a quick physical check of each of the children. At the end of the evaluations this physician invited us to attend a teaching symposium with the evaluating residents where he had each resident present their findings. The striking conclusion was that after each presentation he told each of the residents as to the errors of their results based upon his international experience. The point to learn was that families do not need just any evaluation but one done by a physician that had international experience.
Fortunately for adoptive families there are a number of physicians and clinics throughout the US that are competent and offer helpful evaluations. region specific support group, or by searching over the internet. The services provided vary greatly, so discussing with families that have already used these services can be very helpful. Depending upon the country that you are doing your international adoption through it may be possible to arrange for an independent adoption doctor to evaluate on site during your first trip.
Identifying and evaluating health issues is totally vital with international adoptions. Such assessments add to the cost but this is not something anyone should ever try to shortcut. Adopting children internationally is a viable way to complete your family but it does require being prepared.