I have a "blind referral" but I would feel more comfortable if a medical professional reviews my child's data and video while I am traveling overseas. How can I prepare the medical package and how do I get the data back home in a timely fashion?
The pre-adoption medical evaluation is educational service for pre-adoptive parents and is not mandatory prior to adoption. It is an intelligent service to take advantage of because a professional can review medical data and explain medical information and jargon to parents that they would otherwise not understand. The Internet is a wonderful place to gather information about a particular medical topic, after many hour of surfing one can obtain sufficient knowledge about a medical topic. While the information is there, it should be understood that the Internet is not a controlled environment, hence a lot of medical misinformation and personal opinions do exist. This misinformation can cloud the judgment of a parent in making a decision on whether to accept a particular referral.
A formal evaluation demystifies all of this for parents. It also must also be clearly understood that the evaluation is not intended to be a system in which a doctor picks out a particular child or excludes another one for adoption. That decision is left totally up to the desecration of the family. A physician can forensically examine medical records, pictures and videotape, and systematically try to explain medical concerns and maybe alleviate others. After the family becomes educated in some aspects of International Adoption Medicine that pertains to their referral, they then become empowered in making an intelligent decision on whether to accept or decline a particular referral.
Most families receive a limited medical synopsis of the child's past health history, maybe videotape and/or some pictures. With this, agencies expect them to make a quick lifelong decision that would not only affect themselves, but also the child and other members of their immediate families. If the data is available for review in the U.S.A, then a physician or someone from www.adoptiondoctors.com can review the data and educate the family accordingly, and also act like a medical liaison for the family. They can guide parents on what more information to request from the agency and/or other laboratory testing. In a case such as this one an evaluation is very easy and readily available from anywhere in the U.S.A. Unfortunately not all cases are like this.
Some agencies only provide blind referrals and the parents have nothing to go on..
A blind referral is when the parent must travel overseas and only then will they receive information about the child. Some people travel knowing that they have been assigned a sex and maybe age. They are provided nothing about medical background or any social information. Obviously this can produce undue stress upon a prospective adoptive parent. With services like www.adoptiondoctors.com and many other International adoption clinic around the U.S.A., this stress can be reduced if the parents prepare properly. With proper guidance “they can act in the role of the doctor and collect medical data, take appropriate pictures, performing a Denver developmental examination, and produce a home grown video tape. This data can then be submitted to an International Adoption Physician for evaluation. With the advent of technology, it is now possible to send large amount of data via the Internet to a Physician State side almost immediately. Once received, the doctor performs an official evaluation of the medical data that Dr. Mom has collected. If you are traveling to a remote area of the world that does not even have a telephone line, this procedure is still valuable because upon return, you can have a doctor evaluate the data and bring closure to your decision that you probably have already made.
Parents adopting from a country where a two-visit process is required or for a blind referral can use this generalized medical intake form. The data can be collected from anyone who cares for the child. You as the parent need to be educated in knowing what to ask.
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.It can also give us some insight into the socialization of the child.
Unfortunately a video recordingcan not be considered a replacement for a general physical examination, but for some parents that is all we have to go on.
Filming the child is very important. More footage does not make it better. This is a perfect example where less is more. A short 4-5 minute clip is ideal and easier to upload via the Internet. It is best to get small clips everyday of the child (1-3 minutes long) and one will visualize how the child's demeanor and disposition change with each passing day.
The information and advice provided is intended to be general information, NOT as advice on how to deal with a particular child's situation and or problem. If your child has a specific problem you need to ask your pediatrician about it - only after a careful history and physical exam can a medical diagnosis and/or treatment plan be made. This Web site does not constitute a physician-patient relationship.
This material has been provided by AdoptionDoctors.com, an innovative adoption medicine private practice and educational service, dedicated to helping parents and adoption agencies with the complex pre-adoption medical issues of internationally adopted children. All medical interactions are performed via, e-mail, express mail, telephone, and fax. There is no need to make a live appointment or travel outside of your hometown. For more information, visit AdoptionDoctors.com or call 631-499-4114.
© George Rogu, M.D.
To see local International Adoption resources, please select a location (U.S. only):
Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of Adoption.com.