How a parent can act as a doctor and collect and record medical data
While some families are fortunate enough prior to accepting a referral to be provided with some medical data to present to a medical professional for evaluation. There are equal and if not more families who have a blind referral. You as a parent with the proper training and education can collect medical data and record it. Once collected, you can have this data transmitted back to the United States for evaluation and interpretation by a American doctor.
Prior to your choice to adopt, most adoption agencies will provide the prospective parents with some sort of medical records, pictures and video tapes. This quality of these medical documents depends on the Childs age and the country of origin. It is highly recommended that for parents who visit the child prior to adoption that they can help to collect the required medical documents and prepare your own video recording during their trip.
Sometimes medical information is scarce and the desire to adopt is great. It is imperative that you as a parent ask your agency to provide as much medical information as possible. This is all that you have to help you make a lifelong, irreversible decision. If all concerns and questions are not adequately addressed, it may be better to refuse a referral for adoption rather than to proceed with one that you are ill prepared to handle.
What information should you request in order to make an informed decision?
Any information about the child’s life prior to the adoption will be helpful.
The following is a checklist of information that if available might aid in your evaluation process:
Child’s Birth Mother:
- number of previous pregnancies
- number of other living children
- current living conditions
- smoking, drinking and drug habits
- Why the child was institutionalized
- The age at which the child was removed.
- Where the child has lived.
Your Adopted Child
- birth weight, length and head circumference
- birth history, including gestational age and the method of delivery
- medical problems both before and after the placement.
- any medical diagnoses
- medications taken on a regular basis.
- blood transfusions received, if any and why?
- immunization records
- medical evaluations from specialists in the country of origin
- laboratory studies prior to adoption
- growth measurements including height, weight and head circumference should be obtained.
Obtain the medical records in both English translation as well as the native language. English translation will allow for rapid interpretation of the medical records and the native language will help to determine the validity and accuracy of these translations.