Adoptive parents should select a pediatrician before adopting a child and meet with the doctor to discuss the child before the child comes home. Once you gather as much information as possible about a child, plan to meet with a pediatrician to talk about what it all means and whether there are any specific concerns.
If you are adopting a child from another country, check out one of the international adoption clinics located throughout the US. They provide many services for families, including preadoptive evaluation before your accept a referral. If the child you are considering has a known health condition, you may want to consult a specialist in that field.
Prospective adoptive parents should request a videotape of the child and share it with a health professional capable of evaluating it. Make sure the video is dated so it can be correlated with the child's current age. A good video is at least 5 minutes long and shows these things:
- Some close-ups of the child's face and head
- Interaction with adults and other children
- Talking or vocalizing
- Playing with age-appropriate toys
- The child dressed and undressed