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At the Center we specialize in comprehensive medical, developmental and psychosocial evaluations of children adopted from foreign countries. Our staff of dedicated professionals will try in every way, to provide you and your child the specialized services that may be needed in either your decision to adopt a child or in helping to your child reach their full potential.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about International Adoption Center...

Q. Why should you take your child to a Center specializing in internationally adopted children?
A growing number of families are choosing to adopt children from other countries. In 2005, over 24,000 children were adopted from other countries. The living conditions and early experiences of many of these children set them apart from most US born children. These experiences may place the children at risk for numerous medical, infectious, developmental, or emotional problems that may not typically be seen in the U.S. In addition, medical records provided prior to or at the time of adoption may be non-existent, unreliable, written in confusing medical terminology or contain problems unfamiliar to many U.S. physicians. These factors make it difficult for many, very busy U.S. physicians to keep up on the latest issues, treatments and problems unique to these children. Our staff is committed to understanding and caring for the internationally adopted child. We regularly attend and participate in national conferences dealing with internationally adopted children. In addition, our ongoing research allows us to better understand and stay at the forefront of knowledge when dealing with this unique population.

Q. What services are provided at the Center?
At the International Adoption Center we can help you throughout the adoption process. We provide pre-adoption services including evaluation of video tapes and medical records. Estimates of developmental level and discussion of medical and developmental issues will be addressed. For those families traveling to countries that do not provide pre-trip referrals, we will discuss issues to be aware of when you travel as well as what to look for when you arrive. Our emphasis focuses on aiding prospective parents in preparing to care for their newly adopted child.

Following your adoption, our staff will address the child’s medical needs and begin developmental assessment. Specific attention focuses on medical issues which we know are both common and unique to the foreign adopted child. This will include a thorough medical evaluation and laboratory screening tailored to the needs of the child and country of origin. Developmental and behavioral needs and services are also the mainstay of this evaluation.

A unique service that we provide is ongoing follow-up of the adopted child. Only through tracking the development of adopted children will we understand the long-term health issues unique to this population of children and help to identify trends to aid future families and their physicians. In addition to the evaluations of the children, ongoing educational classes and seminars are provided dealing with both pre- and post-adoptive issues. We will also work with your child’s pediatrician to provide information about issues related to internationally adopted children.

Pre-Adoption Questions

Q. What Can I expect from the Pre-adoption evaluation?
Often the decision to accept a child for adoption must be made quickly. This is a critical and emotional time for the potential parent(s). There is a minimal turn around time on all pre-adoption medical record documents and videotape reviews. Every effort, within reason will be made to return a verbal review of the materials submitted as quickly as possible. A written report will be sent to your home for your records upon completion. The report will include general impressions about the growth, developmental and emotional status of the child at the time of the recording. In addition, we may be able to provide impressions concerning the child's overall health status. Emphasis will be given to helping the prospective parent(s) in beginning preparation for any special services that the child may need.

Q. What will the pre-adoption report include?
A verbal report: will be provided within one week upon receipt of materials. We can often provide this feedback within 24-48 hours depending on schedules. This report can take place in person or by telephone for those families unable to come to the office. A written report will be sent to you for your records and if you request to your child's new physician.

Q. Will my insurance cover this evaluation?
Since you have not formally adopted your child at the time of the pre-adoption medical record and or video review your insurance will not cover the cost. Due to this, the International Adoption Center cannot take your insurance for the pre-adoption evaluation services. The cost of your medical record or video review will be due by cash, check or credit card at the time of your appointment. Please do not send cash in the mail.

Q. I live out of State do I have to travel to the International Adoption Clinic for the pre-adoption evaluations?
Materials can be sent by overnight express or through the mail and the pre-adoption evaluations can be done by telephone or in person

Q. If I decide I want a pre-adoption evaluation what do I do?
If you decide to have a pre-adoption evaluation you will need to fill out the Pre-adoption Information Sheet and the consent form. You may download this form to be mailed or e-mail the form to us. Forms can also be obtained by calling our central office number 703-970-2651 and requesting a pre-adoption evaluation packet. In order to expedite your pre-adoption review the following information must be completed BEFORE your pre-adoption evaluation can occur:

  • Completed Pre-adoption Information Sheet
  • Completed and Signed Consent Form
  • Pictures or other documents to be reviewed with your initials and the date
  • If available, video tape for our permanent files with your initials and the date
  • English translation of the Medical Records

Q. How do I go about getting the medical records translated?
The international adoption center will be able to assist you with a translation referral if you do not have one available.

Travel Questions

Q. What if I have a question when I'm traveling to bring my child home?
The International Adoption Team Members will make themselves available to you for consultations by telephone and e-mail should you have questions when adopting your child from another country. Please remember that this is a courtesy service and that our staff tries to be available as often as we can. There will be on occasions that we will be unavailable. We try to limit these times as much as possible or will provide other doctors that have agreed to fill in for us while we are away. Please contact the International Adoption Center prior to your trip to confirm availability.

Q. What type of things should I plan to bring with me on my trip to bring my child home?
The International Adoption Center will provide you with a list of items you should consider bringing abroad when you adopt your child.

Post-Adoption Questions

Q.What Can I expect from the Post-Adoption Evaluation?
The Post-adoption evaluation offers the opportunity to obtain a medical and developmental evaluation focusing on specific risk factors unique to the internationally adopted child.

Q. I already have a pediatrician. Do I have to stop seeing them?
No, we strongly encourage and require that all families have a ped
iatrician or a family physician. The Center provides specialty care and services, primary care services are still needed. We are striving to establish a close working relationship with your physician to aid him/her in addressing all of the needs of your child. Our staff is dedicated to dealing specifically with foreign adopted children and we specialize in the medical and developmental issues unique to these children. We are available to you and your child’s physician to help ensure that all of these needs are identified and addressed.

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