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International Adoption: Health Guidance and the Immigration Process

Information for Parents, Adoption Providers, and Clinicians

Background and Purpose

Two friends. Photo courtesy Heidi Najdek, HLN Photography.

Photo courtesy Heidi Najdek, HLN Photography.

Each year, parents in the United States adopt more than 12,000 children from all over the world. Adopting a child is a wonderful and exciting event for families. The health of the adopted child is one of many issues that parents need to address during the adoption process. Parents should be prepared for possible challenges during the adoption process and be aware that sometimes the process can be lengthy.

Children born in other areas of the world may have different health problems from those of children raised in the United States. Children may have been exposed to vaccine-preventable diseases that are rare in the United States. Some children are adopted from countries with high rates of diseases, such as tuberculosis, hepatitis, and HIV/AIDS. For all these reasons, knowing as much as possible about a child’s health will help parents get the right treatment and care for their child. Ensuring that adopted children are healthy will also help prevent the spread of disease in families and communities in the United States.

 
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