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Health Evaluation of A Newly Adopted Child

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Dr Avinash Bhosale, Jalgaon    15 January 2018

  1. There have been 16,181 adoptions in the last 4 years. Therefore, it is important to discuss health evaluation of a Initial evaluation may require several visits to the pediatrician. It involves comprehensive health planning encompassing medical history; developmental assessment; unclothed examination; laboratory investigations; referrals to medical, developmental, mental health and dental specialists.
  2. Special issues to be addressed at preadoption visit – Nutrition, lactation, available community support services.
  3. Complete history is rarely available.
  4. Components of comprehensive physical examination pertinent to adoption – General appearance; vital signs; growth parameters; skin examination (infectious diseases, rashes, infestations, congenital skin abnormalities, bruises or scars); genitalia examination (testing for STD to be performed with any suspicion of abuse or sexually active); neurological examination (developmental and neurologic abnormalities).
  5. Assess immunization status: If the status is known, document date and age; check for serum immunity for major antigens; if the status is unknown, reimmunize the child.
  6. Help families to promote strong, healthy attachments within family unit.
  7. Role of Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) – IAP should formulate a chapter and guidelines to provide information and training. Adoption and foster care medicine is an evolving subspecialty in the field of pediatrics.

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