Health Issues to Consider When Reviewing Adoption Referrals


What conditions should you be concerned about in an adoption referral or a potential match? How can you interpret the information to make this decision? Dr. Gail Farber, Co-Director International Adoption Health Program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and an adoptive mom; and Dr. Anne Walker, a pediatrician specializing in adoption and an adoptive mom of three, discuss medical issues with adopted kids

Highlights of the show (click to expand)
  • What information about a child’s heath do parents receive prior to adoption?
  • How important is birth weight?
  • How important is head circumference?
  • What are hints that a birth mother might have engaged in risky behavior while pregnant?
  • What are hints that a birth mother might have drank while pregnant?
  • What are the risks associated with drug use during pregnancy?
  • What are accompanying disabilities that go along with known special needs such as cleft lip/palate?
  • How many international adoption doctors should perspective parents consult before accepting a referral?
  • What is the likelihood of an adopted child inheriting a mental illness and what can parents do to assess the risks?
  • What is the impact of institutionalization on a child?
  • What information should perspective parents ask to see on a child being adopted from foster care?
  • What are the warning signs of future potential problems when looking at an international adoption? Domestic adoption?

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Image credit: Bettina Neuefeind