Pediatrician examining an adopted baby girlDepending on your adoption preferences, being chosen by a birth mother and then matching up might take awhile. We understand that it can be challenging to suddenly have to sit back and wait, after months of research, paperwork, creating your profile, and getting everything in place for your home study.
 
Many hopeful adoptive parents struggle with this wait and feel like their life is on hold. However, something productive you can do during the wait is to research pediatricians in your area. Doing so will get you ready for parenthood and also help to pass the time more quickly!
 

Pediatricians and Adoption

Spend the time during your adoption wait wisely to find the perfect pediatrician for your future baby or child. You might ask your friends and relatives in the area with young children for their recommendations.
 
We also encourage you to do some online research and scour moms groups for reviews and suggestions. Next, you can schedule interviews with your top picks to ensure that the pediatrician is adoption-friendly.
 
As a hopeful adoptive parent, you’ll want to make sure your child’s pediatrician understands the complexities of adoption. Another attribute to look for is whether he or she has any experience helping an adopted child before. While this is preferred, it is not always possible. So make sure to communicate your child’s needs and your concerns to the pediatrician.
 
Another opportunity to talk about adoption with the pediatrician is when you fill out the medical paperwork. You will probably notice there is no section on the paperwork that indicates whether your child is adopted or not.
 
If this is the case, make sure to make a note of their adoption on the paperwork. You might let the office staff know when you return the forms that you have made a note about adoption on the paperwork. Share that including a checkbox for adoption on future forms would be helpful for future adoptive families to normalize adoption. The staff is more likely to be receptive if you share this idea in a friendly and open manner instead of an accusatory one.
 

Sharing Medical History

In today’s modern adoptions, the birth mother chooses her baby’s adoptive parents and works out a plan for future contact with them. As a part of this process, her adoption agency requests that she share her prenatal records and medical history. So chances are, you’ll have access to your adopted child’s medical history and information. The ability to receive information regarding any medical disorders, learning disabilities, or other possible hereditary conditions can be invaluable to adoptive parents and their children.
 
Other adoptive parents might find that their adopted child’s medical history is complicated. Or, as is in the case with international adoption, the adoptive parents may have no knowledge of their child’s medical history.
 
In either case, it’s vital that adoptive parents be honest with the pediatrician. Provide all the information you have, including the birth mother’s pregnancy records. Having access to her records gives the pediatrician a good baseline to begin with and helps them understand your child’s health.
 

Celebrating Adoption

With today’s open adoptions, adoptive parents are encouraged to normalize adoption in their families. Adoptive parents share their child’s story with them from the beginning, so the adoption is never a dramatic announcement. Instead, these children grow up knowing that they were adopted and are secure in knowing that they’re loved by their adoptive parents and their birth parents.
 
In connection with this normalizing of adoption, you’ll want to encourage the pediatrician to be open and transparent on the subject of adoption. After all, you’ll want your child to feel comfortable talking about their adoption with their doctor in the future.
 
Finally, you’ll want to use positive adoption language when interviewing possible pediatricians. If the pediatrician or office staff use outdated terms, you can gently correct them by offering alternative words.
 
Although waiting can be difficult, remember that in the end, it will all be worth it. So avoid putting your life on hold. Instead, use this time of waiting period to prepare yourselves for your new bundle of joy!

Linda Rotz
Written by Linda Rotz

Linda Rotz, CWCM-S, CWCM-Trainer, ACC, is the Director of Adoption Services at Lifetime. Linda has worked in the field of adoption for 20 years within the child welfare/foster care system in Florida. She has degrees in Mass Communications and Human Development, and completed graduate studies in social work.

Due to her extensive expertise, Linda was called upon to write adoption procedures and training materials in Florida. She is certified as an Adoption Specialist, Child Welfare Case Manager Supervisor and Child Welfare Trainer in the state of Florida.