Each year an estimated 61,000 children are adopted in the United States. The journey to adoption can be a long one for both the children waiting to be adopted — many waiting on average four years — as well as the adult anxious to fulfill their dreams of parenthood. The journey may be lengthy, but when it finally comes together, it’s so worth it.
The typical adoption process includes many steps that not only examine the type of adoption desired, such as open or closed adoption, as well as completing application paperwork and doing home visits. One of the important steps in this process is the adoption physical of the parent or parents to be.
In this blog, the skilled providers at Internal Medicine & Pediatric Clinic, located in New Albany, Mississippi, share their experience with providing this crucial component of the adoption process.
Provides a current record of your physical health & medical history
You are probably familiar with a physical. You may even get an annual physical every year as part of your wellness routine with your doctor. An adoption physical is no different except that we complete a written record for you to return to the adoption agency.
Every agency may have slightly different protocols, but most will require a physical for everyone in your household. The purpose is to closely examine the health of everyone who would be involved in nurturing the adopted child.
Checks for health issues that could impact your ability to raise a child
During the physical, we’ll record your height, weight, and blood pressure. We’ll also check your throat, eyes, and ears and listen to your heart and lungs. If you aren’t a current patient, we’ll also do a complete medical history and may order lab tests like blood work to check your glucose and cholesterol levels as well as a tuberculosis test.
When you arrive for your physical, bring a list of any medications and vitamins you take as well as a list of any specialists you currently see and any reports or records from those specialists. All this data will be compiled to provide a clear picture of your health.
The overarching purpose of the physical is to rule out any critical health conditions that could hinder your ability to provide a stable, safe, and nurturing home to a child through adulthood.
Important part of the home study and approval process
It’s important to note that if you have serious health issues such as cancer or a chronic condition like diabetes it doesn’t automatically prevent you from adopting. After all, even biological parents go through health struggles during their lifetime. If you have a serious medical issue, you just may need additional documentation from our team about your condition.
The results of your adoption physical are recorded as a health statement. Once we complete your adoption physical, our providers finalize the required paperwork for you to submit to your adoption agency. This will become a part of the mandatory home study portion of the adoption approval process.
The home study is an assessment of not only the environment or home, but of all the people in that home, including their health, finances, relationships, and everything there is to know about all the people that will be involved in raising the adopted child.
Keep in mind that not all health issues may be perceived as negative when it comes to approving an adoption. Some adoption agencies specialize in placements with couples who have infertility issues, so documentation and health records become that much more important.
If you are navigating the adoption process and need an adoption physical, book an appointment with our experienced providers here at Internal Medicine & Pediatric Clinic. Request an appointment online, or call the office today.