Medicine, adoption: Medicine for the adopted child, including pre-adoption counseling and evaluation based on a child's medical records as well as post-adoption consultations and, often, primary care of the adopted child. The field of adoption medicine began to emerge toward the end of the 20th century as the medical problems of children born abroad and adopted into North American families became apparent.
Specialists in adoption medicine are knowledgeable about many infections such as hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, intestinal parasites, scabies and lice; they look for signs of fetal alcohol syndrome; and they run tests on the children to determine whether their record of vaccinations is accurate and reliable. If not, these children should be reimmunized in North America as a precaution.
In a study of over 500 children adopted from abroad, it was found that about one in five tested positive for exposure to tuberculosis and a like proportion had the intestinal parasite Giardia lamblia. Adoption medicine is world health for children.