Bringing a child into a family creates an extraordinary opportunity for growth and development of both the child and the family. Appropriate preparation for an adoptive child and ongoing guidance after the arrival home help parents meet the emotional, medical, developmental and care needs of their new child.
Adoption — international, domestic and foster—creates a unique situation for healthcare providers. The referral of children and their medical history is sometimes vague or incomplete, and the children are coming from circumstances that place them at some risk for developmental, health and emotional problems.
CHOP's adoption program supports families adopting from all pathways—international, domestic newborn or older child, or adoption from U.S. foster care.
Prospective parents may be overwhelmed when considering the impact of these factors upon a child and the resulting implications for parenting. Our team works to review the child's history; help educate the family about potential issues; support adoptive parents in the early, post-birth newborn issues; and is there to support children and families if they're faced with longer term challenges.
These children may have backgrounds complicated by prenatal exposure to drug or alcohol or other toxins and/ or birth families history of psychiatric disorders. The children may have experienced domestic violence, abuse, neglect and may have lived in many homes across their years. Our team aims to help families gain knowledge and understanding of the implication of medical, emotional, and developmental histories of their potential child(ren) and to offer guidance during the transitional phase of the adoption.
Our team of pediatricians, occupational therapists and psychologists is here to support adoptive families and their children.
Review of the child's records can help a family understand more about their prospective child and recognize the issues this child may have upon arrival or transition into their home. Pre-adoption counseling helps parents make an informed decision about their capacity to parent the referred child, and to appropriately prepare for bringing the child into their family. Preparing for meeting and travelling with the child and understanding immediate physical and behavioral needs can help ease the travel and transition period.
Our consultation service is available to adoptive families, pediatricians and other healthcare providers. Initial consultation shortly after the child's arrival into the home will be with a pediatrician and an occupational therapist. Our team members have extensive experience caring for adopted children who:
Early emotional adjustment to the new family, growth, development, feeding, sleeping, health and immunizations are among the issues our team will address. Consultation is also available for children who have already been with their families for months or years, and whose emerging or persisting issues may be physical, behavioral or developmental.
Our team physicians also support families by communicating with their primary pediatricians concerning the ongoing care of referred children. To empower families with the best knowledge and care they may need to help their child thrive, our team also makes referrals to specialists at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and community resources when indicated.
The Adoption Program at CHOP also offers ongoing monthly family play events and hosts two full-day family education conferences each year. Learn more about upcoming events.
If you would like more information about our program, would like to have a pre-adoption medical review or would like to schedule a consultation, please call us at 267-426-5005 or contact the International Adoption Health Program online.