- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has updated its policy statement on conducting a comprehensive health evaluation in newly adopted children.
- Evaluations can be performed even before adoption is finalized, say the authors.
Why this matters
- Updates a statement from 2012 that was reaffirmed in 2016.
- About 120,000 children are adopted in the United States annually, according to the report.
- Children should have a comprehensive evaluation as soon as possible.
- Clinicians should begin with a review of all available medical records, relevant history that is available.
- Conduct a complete physical exam, with diagnostic testing based on findings or known risks.
- Screenings should be administered as age-appropriate and include hearing, vision, dental, and behavioral/developmental screenings.
- Refer to specialists as warranted.
- Ensure the child is currently on immunizations.
- International adoptions warrant tuberculosis, HIV, HBV testing, along with testing for sexually transmitted infections.
- Nutrient deficiencies are possible.
- Some special cases, such as adoption from foster care, a history of high stress or psychological trauma, or adoption from institutions may require alertness to need for mental health support.
- Aid the family in identifying resources as needed.