Recently, one of our readers asked if we would write an article about the difficulties faced by children and adults who were adopted. This is submitted in answer to that request. All names and places are fictionalized:
If you're considering adoption, here are some things to know about the health and medical care of an adopted child, before, during, and after the adoption.
Open Adoptions If you have an open or semi-open adoption — one in which you meet the mother and sometimes the father — you should be able to get substantial health information.
In an open adoption, you may help arrange the birth mother's prenatal carego with her to doctor visits, and be present for the birth. You can also request health records through the agency or attorney who is arranging the adoption. With an older child who is already living in the United States, you can get a sense of the child's general health by spending time with him or her before the adoption or by serving as a foster parent first.
Before you adopt, try to have as much medical information as possible, including: Discussing these issues can help you clarify your feelings and priorities. With international adoptions, you're likely to receive photographs of the child, but reliable, complete health and family information may not be available.
If possible, consider making a trip to meet the child before deciding to adopt. You can find out about restrictions that different countries may have from the U. Interpreting Information After gathering the available health information, your adoption agency if you have one might be able to help you evaluate whether, given any medical issues, this child and these circumstances are a good fit for you.
Also try to get a doctor to help you interpret the child's medical record. You may want to consult a doctor who has experience with adopted children from the same background as the one you may adopt. This is especially true if you are adopting internationally. A Russian medical record, for instance, might use terms that are unfamiliar to many U.
Easing the Transition Once you've decided to adopt or provide foster care, try to learn as much as you can about the child's daily schedule, abilities, and likes and dislikes.
Maintaining a schedule and serving foods that are familiar to the child can help ease the transition into your home.
Statistics & Research Using information collected through various monitoring and reporting systems, the Children's Bureau analyzes and reports data on a variety of topics, including adoption, foster care, and child abuse and neglect. That report found breakdown rates rising from 16% for children placed at age five, to 60% at nine and over – that's six out of 10 children adopted going back into care. Resources for All: 7 Core Issues in Adoption The Center for Adoption Support and Education Explains the seven core issues of adoption experienced by birth families, adopted people, and adoptive families, searchable by triad member.
You may also want to arrange for the child to bring along some personal belongings. The touch and smell of a favorite toy or an old piece of clothing can help kids adjust. When you pick up your child, it may be your only chance to get answers to questions like: Which foods does he like or dislike?
When does he eat and how much?
Is he allergic to anything? When does she sleep and for how long? Does she have a bedtime routine? Is there anything that helps her sleep? Does the child use the toilet on a set schedule? How and when is he washed or bathed? Are there any favorite songs? What does she usually wear?
What does she usually play with, and is there a favorite toy or blanket? What methods of comforting are most effective?
Can he sit, crawl, or stand? What about speaking, making sentences, or recognizing colors, letters, or numbers? If he's in school, at what level? How does she get along with other kids?
Is she especially attached to particular people?
Other things to consider: You may want to take home pictures of your child's previous caregivers and familiar surroundings. Keep track of the names, addresses, and phone numbers of everyone you meet who knows your child in case you need more information later. Get a record of which vaccinations your child has received.I have 2 adopted girls from China, who both carry some deep seated issues from their earliest of days.
Some of the issues are abandonment, rejection, traumatic birth and neglect. The manifestation of these issues is not .
Resources for All: 7 Core Issues in Adoption The Center for Adoption Support and Education Explains the seven core issues of adoption experienced by birth families, adopted people, and adoptive families, searchable by triad member. Adopted children are more likely to be diagnosed with mental health disorders.
One study reported that 14% of adopted children undergo professional counseling in order to deal with mental or behavioral issues. Adoptinfo. An adoption issue is a problem that preoccupies and distresses an adopted child and is related to adoption. For example, fear that a birthparent might kidnap the child is an adoption issue.
Psychological Issues Faced By Adopted Children And Adults Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. Recently, one of our readers asked if we would write an article about the difficulties faced by children and adults who were adopted. Adopted children may struggle with self-esteem and identity development issues more so than their non-adopted peers.
Identity issues are of particular concern for teenagers who are aware that they are adopted and even more so, for those adopted in a closed or semi-open circumstance.