Medical Definition of Adoption medicine

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/11/2018

Adoption medicine: Medicine for the adopted child, including pre-adoption counseling and evaluation based on a child's medical records as well as post-adoption consultations and, often, primary care of the adopted child. The field of adoption medicine began to emerge toward the end of the 20th century as the medical problems of children born abroad and adopted into North American families became apparent.

Specialists in adoption medicine are knowledgeable about many infections such as hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, intestinal parasites, scabies and lice; they look for signs of fetal alcohol syndrome; and they run tests on the children to determine whether their record of vaccinations is accurate and reliable. If not, these children should be reimmunized in North America as a precaution.

In a study of over 500 children adopted from abroad, it was found that about one in five tested positive for exposure to tuberculosis and a like proportion had the intestinal parasite Giardia lamblia. Adoption medicine is world health for children.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018