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As an adoptive parent, you are probably excited to welcome your child into your home. And while you might have many concerns about bonding, providing a safe environment and finding ways to make your child feel welcome, you might not have considered the potential medical needs you might need to address.

When you have biological children, you know their health histories from the start. However, with adoption, there tend to be many unknowns. You might adopt a child who previously lived in poverty, resulting in stomach upset from the rich, healthy foods you offer him or her. Or perhaps dental care was not previously possible due to a lack of resources. When you adopt, you might be wise to provide medical attention for your child to maximize their health and development.

Is your child at risk?

If you choose an open adoption, an established relationship with your child’s biological mother could help you understand any complications that occurred during her pregnancy, provide some familial medical history and make you aware of medical tests your child has undergone.

However, in many cases, such as in international adoptions, background information is not possible. While familiar foods or toys can help your child transition into your home, as far as health is concerned, you might want to consider:

  • Is your child malnourished?
  • Does he or she have lead poisoning?
  • Are intestinal parasites a concern?
  • Have they received their vaccinations?
  • Can they see clearly?

While many of your adoption concerns will take care of themselves, new questions could arise at any time. Remaining aware of changes within your child’s habits and behaviors can help you establish your role as their parent while you work to provide health, protection and love in their new home.