Finding an adoption-friendly doctor for your adopted child isn’t that different from finding a doctor for your biological child. Many parents prefer a recommendation from a trusted friend–myself included! But it’s still a good idea to interview potential doctors and ask some adoption-specific questions.
Adoption can come with many unknowns, especially when it comes to limited medical histories. At the time I interviewed our pediatrician, I wasn’t sure how much medical information we would receive. Ask how the possibility of not having your child’s medical history would be handled. Or, if there is information available from your child’s birth mom’s pregnancy and labor, would they be willing to take the time to go through it with you?
If you are adopting a newborn, you might want to check to see if you will be supported by your feeding choices. Maybe you’ll want to formula feed your new baby, or maybe you’ll be using donor breast milk, or maybe you’ll be inducing lactation for adoptive breastfeeding–or even a combination of these choices! Can your child’s doctor offer any support or resources to assist you? Our pediatrician’s office offers formula samples and free lactation consults.
I was also curious to know if there were other adoptive families seen at the practice; it gave me an idea how familiar our pediatrician was with adoption. Even though I personally didn’t need her to be familiar with adoption, if she was, I could feel confident that she would use positive adoption language, and be sensitive to my son’s emotional needs. However, if she wasn’t familiar with adoption, it would have been an opportunity to help educate the practice.
While sometimes it feels like your child’s doctor knows best, the reality is that your child’s doctor works for you. So, find a doctor that fits your family’s specific needs. A good doctor will respect your choices and be willing to help you navigate potential problems along the way.