Preparing the Adoption Medical record

How a parent can act as a doctor and collect and record medical data

While some families are fortunate enough to be presented some medical records from either the child or the birth mother, some cases receive no records and they will need to make a on the spot decision while in the country. This type of case is called a blind referral. Our doctors can help guide you through this difficult decision, and we can train you to act as our eyes on the ground to collect the medical data and create your own Medical Chart for us to review.
With today’s technology, it is easy to collect and transmit the data back to for us to evaluate and go over with you.
Prior to your choice to adopt, most adoption agencies will provide the prospective parents with some sort of medical records, pictures and video recording. 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.

The following is a checklist of information that if available might aid in your evaluation process:

Child’s Birth Mother:

  • Age
  • occupation
  • 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.

How to prepare a video medical record?

Guidelines for preparing a adoption video.

A video recording of a child can be a useful tool for evaluating the developmental milestones of a child and to determine if there are any facial characteristics that may be associated with any syndromes or genetic defects. Unfortunately a video recording can not be be considered a replacement for a general physical examination, but for some parents that is all we have to go on.
Video Setting:  The date of the recording needs to be documented.

  • The setting should be familiar to the child.
  • The child should know the persons filming.
  • The environment should be as free from distractions.
  • Well lit area.

Video Recording:

  • Close-up shot of the face, including different angles and various facial expressions.
  • The remaining video should about a three foot distance
  • The video should show the child both dressed and partially undressed.
  • Spontaneous movement of the arms, legs and trunk should be documented.
  • Age appropriate skills should be evoked with the help of  assistants. (ex: gross motor, fine motor, adaptive skills such as dressing, undressing and eating and playing)
  • Developmental progress can be evaluated with serial video recordings at different ages of development.
  • Engage the child in verbal interactions as well as play.