I wrote on Being Pregnant about how I felt that honesty was the best policy when adopting, and the AAP agrees. They recently issued a statement encouraging pediatricians to talk to the families they work with on being open with the adoption, while still maintaining that though their family is different, it still is very much a real family.
One of the benefits to letting a pediatrician know your child is adopted is they are then able to work with a child that may not have all of their complete medical information available, instead of using yours as a guideline. Your doctor will be ready to contact others that may have knowledge of illnesses that occur in other countries but aren’t common here.
Your pediatrician can help with any issues that might come from a child being institutionalized or placed in an orphanage – food hoarding, hurting themselves, nightmares, regression, etc. Knowing what the child experienced, even on a small level, does wonders for the correct type of care they’ll receive.
The Dr. may make a plan with you over a period of time involving other professionals (such as therapists) to ensure your child’s emotional and physical needs are being met as they begin to process what their young lives were like and what adoption means.
Honesty with your child means they may be more open to talking with you about how they’re feeling. Even though most children aren’t able to full comprehend the difference between families until around the age of 3, growing up with it being a part of their story makes it much easier as they get older.
If and when we bring our little one back to the States, we have a pediatrician at Texas Children’s who wants to do a full work up of care, a plan of care for us as parents to him, and a plan sent to our pediatrician at home for them to follow as well. He will be every bit as much our child as Bella, but we fully understand that his physical and mental disposition will differ in ways not biologically or hereditarily related to us.
I want to encourage any parent struggling with this that honesty really is the best policy in this case – no matter the age of your child. You’re giving them a gift of health and knowledge that, while it may be hard to accept, will benefit them tremendously in their lives and their children’s lives.
Source: Med Page Today
Diana blogs on raising a toddler daughter, the loss of her twin boys, and their families’ Korean adoption on the aptly named Hormonal Imbalances. Smaller glimpses into her day are on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
MORE FROM DIANA: