If you are adopting a child across borders, one of the pressing issues you must consider is the health of that child and fulfilling any health-related immigration requirements to bring the child into the United States.
International adoption is a wonderful opportunity; however, health concerns can make it more difficult as children from other countries may have health issues or maybe received substandard medical care in his or her native country.
Determining the health of your adoptive child prior to finalization of the adoption process is critical and can sometimes be difficult to do as it involves a great deal of research and gathering of information from multiple sources.
Working with an experienced international adoption lawyer who can help you do the research needed for a cross-border adoption, the process can be finalized and your child brought home with you.
Gather Critical Records Before You Travel
Before you travel to get your child and finalize the adoption, start the health screening process at home by collecting as much information about the child’s past medical care as well as the health history of biological parents if possible.
It’s important that you do this prior to completing the adoption process, as it may become impossible to obtain the information after all is finalized.
Enlist the aid of adoption legal services early on, as lawyers experienced in dealing with the difficulties that can arise when seeking medical information can increase your chance of getting those important records and histories.
In addition, when traveling to another country to receive your child, protect yourself against exposure to diseases that may be more common in that country.
Be sure your own health is good and that any vaccinations required for you to leave and then re-enter the U.S. have been updated.
Needs In Child's Home Country
For easier re-entry into the United States with your child and to fulfill any applicable medical requirements, begin your child’s immigration medical screening and healthcare process when you arrive at their home country.
Bring the child and any existing medical records you’ve obtained to a State Department-designated doctor who performs exams for international adoptions.
The doctor will screen your adopted child for CDC-classified Class A conditions including tuberculosis and certain other diseases, review available medical histories, and assess the child's overall health.
Any necessary vaccinations required for entering the U.S. will be performed or planned depending on the age and health of the child as well as all other travel requirements fulfilled according to U.S. health laws.
You will then receive a packet containing your child’s medical history and proof of required care which you must show to Customs and Border Protection upon entering the United States.
In the event that any illness is discovered, the child must be treated appropriately for that illness in the home country prior to entry into the U.S.
Needs Upon Returning Home with Your Child
When you get back home, medical professionals and adoption legal services highly recommend that you bring your internationally-adopted child to your personal medical provider within a few weeks of entry into the country.
Your provider will then do another health screening, testing for additional illnesses like HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B, developmental issues, and others that are not required for travel and entry to give you an even more thorough assessment of the health of your child.
Together, you can then treat and/or manage any existing medical concerns as well as plan your child’s future healthcare needs to ensure that he or she remains happy and healthy as they start a new life with you in the United States.
Plan and Prepare Early
If you are adopting a child from another country, have his or her health assessed and any necessary health care provided before entry into the U.S.
The best way to begin this process is to gather existing medical records and other health-related information about the child’s current, past, and familial health.
An adoption lawyer experienced in adoptions across borders can help you with this process and make certain you can fulfill all legally necessary requirements for a smooth international adoption.