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The Need for an Adopted Child’s Medical History

Gönderen Stuff zaman: 02:20
When parents adopt an infant or perhaps a toddler, medical issues are typically far from their minds. After all, if the baby or young child looks perfectly fine and passes his medical exams with flying colors, what else is there to worry about? Also, they reason that the child has only been alive for a few years, so there likely won’t be much relevant information to dig up.
However, if you are considering adoption, it might be time to mull the idea over of needing to obtain the child’s medical history. Why is that? These recent years, new information found on early brain development indicates that a child’s first two to three years are actually a critical time for nerve pattern connections to be established, which also forms the basis of all later learning that the child undergoes. When adoptive parents and their respective physicians are made aware of adverse risk factors, they can immediately direct efforts towards improving the situation for the child. This is because early intervention is found to be much more effective at treating children with developmental delays than any other process.
The closer the child is to the day he was born, the easier it will be to access information. For example, records for newborns are sometimes easily found within the mother’s medical records. Also, if the child’s records are filed under the mom’s name, it may easily become inaccessible over time. Also, getting connections to the child’s birthparents and other relatives becomes more difficult or even impossible once much time has elapsed. If the child you are adopting is from overseas, it may even be that there are no such records. In cases like these, the most you can do would be to obtain whatever information the most recent caregiver can give.
What information do you really need for an adopted child’s medical history? Naturally, it would not be possible to obtain every piece of information. For one thing, the birthparents might not have been old enough to manifest any possible hereditary medical problem that might come on them when they grow older. Genetic evaluation may be used to check for the risk of inherited syndromes, but this is typically not appropriate for the purpose of evaluating an adoption.
Instead, you need to understand the purpose of acquiring medical records for your adopted child as a pro-active way to combat possible effects of his early life. For example, adopted children usually experience less than optimal situations for development and growth, either after birth or while in the womb. Once you understand this, you can be better equipped to help the child get optimal care.
The following are the things you need to find out, if at all possible:
1. The basic description of the birthparents and birth siblings would be helpful, wherein you find out their ages, genetic origins, and overall health. If you can find out any known genetic conditions such as heart disease at an early onset or a line of diabetes, it would be even better.
2. If you can obtain a description of the period of pregnancy, the labor and delivery, as well as the lifestyle of the birthmother, her prenatal care, infectious diseases, or possibility of substance abuse, it would help greatly.
3. You also need to get results of lab tests, including screening for maternal infectious diseases and metabolic screening.
4. Do also obtain a record of any, if at all, immunizations, surgeries, hospitalizations, transfusions, and medications taken in the past or taken concurrently.
5. If you can obtain a list of developmental and growth milestones over the child’s life, it would also assist you greatly in detecting developmental lags.
6. A list of any allergies and the child’s daily diet will also help you make diet decisions. Some experts even recommend simulating the feeding style that the baby has been used to in whatever situation she was in prior to the adoption, such as in the orphanage, the hospital, or in foster care, in order to facilitate the transition better.
7. A chronological list of the child’s care will also give you an idea of how much emotional baggage has been placed on his shoulders. For example, how many families has he lived with, and how much neglect or abuse has he faced up as of the moment?
These are but the most common things you need to find out in order to be able to care for your new adopted child in the best way possible. Once you are armed with whatever information you can find, you will likely soar in your gift as the new parents of this child you now call your own.

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