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International Adoption: Health Guidance and the Immigration Process

For Parents: Finding a Medical Provider in the United States

Once you have brought your child into the United States, you need to find a medical provider with whom you feel comfortable taking your child for medical care. CDC encourages parents to schedule their child’s medical visit within a few weeks of arrival. Your child’s first medical visit in the United States will be more detailed than his or her visa medical exam. Since the visa medical exam only screens for certain diseases, it may not give you a complete picture of your child’s health. The first U.S. medical exam will help you find out about any other health issues your child may have and allow for timely treatment, if needed.

Your child’s first medical visit in the U.S. should:

  • check growth and development
  • test hearing and vision
  • screen for these diseases, if needed:
    • HIV/AIDS
    • Syphilis
    • hepatitis B
    • illnesses caused by parasites
    • TB Tuberculin Skin Test (TST)

Your child must also get vaccines if he or she did not receive them overseas. Parents are required to get their children vaccinated within 30 days of arrival.

Your child’s medical provider may also want to learn about your child’s medical history. If you have any forms or papers with details about your child’s medical background, bring them to the first visit.

If you are looking for a medical provider, you may want to consider pediatricians who focus on treating international adoptees. They tend to have more experience with medical conditions seen in children adopted overseas.

To find an adoption medicine specialist in your area, please visit the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) [PDF - 24 pages].

 
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