HealthDay News — Children who join families through the process of adoption should undergo a comprehensive health evaluation shortly after placement in an adoptive home, according to a clinical report published online April 29 in Pediatrics.

Veronnie Faye Jones, M.D., Ph.D., M.S.P.H., from the University of Louisville in Kentucky, and colleagues note that pediatricians are uniquely placed to guide families in achieving optimal health for adopted children as families establish a medical home. The authors discuss the importance of a comprehensive health evaluation for children who are adopted.

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The authors note that the health evaluation should include a medical history review, complete physical examination, and diagnostic testing, if necessary, based on findings from the history and physical examination and risks associated with the child’s past. Age-appropriate screenings should include newborn screening panels and hearing, vision, dental, and formal behavioral and/or developmental screenings. Mental health issues and issues of adjustment and transition should also be considered. The comprehensive evaluation can take place at the time of the initial physician visit after adoptive placement or over several visits. Referral to other medical specialists should be provided as necessary.

“Pediatricians play an important role in working with families to identify children’s needs and providing emotional support to help families through the adoption process,” the authors write.

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