Columbus Children’s Hospital now offers an International Adoption Clinic to guide parents throughout the process of international adoption—the first of its kind in central Ohio. The clinic’s focus is helping prospective parents understand the potential health condition of the children they are preparing to adopt and to thoroughly evaluate the health condition of adopted children shortly after their arrival in the United States.
International adoption potentially can save the lives of thousands of children throughout the world who grow up in orphanages struggling with poor nutrition, diseases, behavioral problems and developmental delays. The reward of providing new and better possibilities for a child in need is certainly worth the long and demanding process international adoption often can be.
Because traveling to another country can be difficult and confusing, physicians at Columbus Children’s International Adoption Clinic talk with parents about traveling abroad and initially assessing their child’s health. Staff trained in pre-adoptive services review any medical records, videotapes or photographs that are sent from the child’s home country and, together with the parents, develop a health care plan for the child. During the time parents are outside the U.S., they have 24-hour access to clinic staff for immediate guidance.
After arriving home in the U.S., physicians at Columbus Children's International Adoption Clinic evaluate an adopted child’s development, nutrition, immunization history and perform a complete physical examination. Other tests also are performed to look for possible infections or other health problems. Based on these exam results, a more definite health care plan for the child is developed and shared with his or her primary care physician.
In addition to the services offered by the Columbus Children’s International Adoption Clinic, parents preparing to navigate the adoption process can also take advantage of Children’s Adoption Academy, an educational program that presents introductory information about adoption in a comprehensive and sensitive manner to help prospective parents make informed choices. To learn more about or to register for Adoption Academy, contact Columbus Children’s Institute for Pediatric Education, (614) 722-4949.
For more information abut Children’s International Adoption Clinic, call (614) 722-4459 or email InternationalAdoption@chi.osu.edu.