Evaluating Risks in Domestic or International Adoption

One of the hardest things many adoptive parents have to do is to decide if the risks or special needs of a particular birth mother match or referral are too great for them to handle. What are the likely effects of prenatal exposures to drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes? What if their is a history of mental illness in the birth parents family? What if the child has been in an orphanage for years? Host Dawn Davenport interviewed Dr. Dana Johnson, Director of the International Adoption Clinic at the University of Minnesota and Professor of Neonatology, about what factor are red flags, what questions to ask, and how to interpret the scant medical history provided.

Hit the Highlights
  • Red flags to consider when reviewing an adoption referral or birthmother match.
  • What information available in a typical referral or birth parent medical or social history is of greater concern in predicting long term mental and physical health for an adopted child.
  • When evaluating a referral or birth mother match, what factors indicate risk for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)?
  • What are the risk factors for mental illness that may be seen in the medical and social history/background in international adoption and domestic adoption?
  • How can adoptive parents keep risk factors in perspective?

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Image Credit: .v1ctor Casale.