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The child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding...Intercountry adoption may offer the advantage of a permanent family to a child for whom a suitable family cannot be found in his or her State of origin.
-- Hague Convention Preamble
There is a growing demand for specialized care for pediatric patients newly adopted from an international setting. Most adopted children have special developmental and medical needs throughout their lives, but those adopted from an international origin - who spend weeks to years in orphanages and other state-run institutions - require specific attention to prevent and treat infectious diseases. The American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends screening tests for all internationally adopted children without regard to age, sex or country of origin for infections including hepatitis A, B, C, HIV, parasites, syphilis, tuberculosis, and varicella.
Our International Adoption Clinic provides evaluation, consultation and counseling specifically tailored to the needs of families who are adopting a child from another country.
Our comprehensive services include:
After conducting a preliminary review of available medical records, growth data and photos / videos, our Pediatric Infectious Diseases physicians will schedule a meeting to discuss the information provided, potential issues and concerns. During this consultation, we typically will:
- Review growth parameters to assess height, weight and head circumference as compared to a general population of children of the same age
- Discuss developmental milestones so families understand the expectations for their particular child and can more comfortably make decisions regarding their prospective adoption
- Examine and evaluate photographs for facial dysmorphism and other abnormal physical characteristics consistent with fetal alcohol syndrome
- Review videos - when available - for abnormal physical characteristics and developmental / behavioral level
- Discuss travel preparation and provide prescription forms for travel (broad-spectrum antibiotics, eye ointment, medication for skin infections, etc.)
- Make families aware of any additional medical/surgical needs the child may have
- Discuss any concerns families may have
During the time a family is traveling outside the U.S., our physicians are available by email or pre-arranged telephone conferences to respond to medical issues.
Post-Adoption Evaluation & Care
We encourage families to schedule a clinic appointment within two weeks of your return in the U.S. The child will receive a complete evaluation (including metabolic screen, Hepatitis B & C, HIV and parasite screening) and we will provide a comprehensive medical baseline to document the health of the child. We work closely with on-site pediatric specialists (developmental pediatrics, gastroenterology, cardiology, allergy, dermatology, dentistry and others) and will facilitate the appropriate referrals, if needed. Our team also works closely with general pediatricians to provide optimal care for the child.
Appointments & Referrals - Phone: (310) 825-0867
Administrative Office & Information - Phone: (310) 825-5235
- UCLA Clinical Update: Pediatric clinic meets the unique needs of adopting parents and families who travel
- U.S. Department of State - Intercountry Adoption Information
- Creating a Family - Parental Support Resources
- The Donaldson Adoption Institute