March 1989

International AdoptionAn Introduction for Physicians

Author Affiliations

From the International Adoption Clinic, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis.

Am J Dis Child. 1989;143(3):325-332. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1989.02150150079022

Despite great progress in the medical treatment of infertility, approximately 1 million American couples are unable to bear children.1 The high rate of involuntary infertility, coupled with a decrease in the number of US-born infants available for adoption,2 has prompted a tremendous growth in the number of international adoptions. In the past 10 years the number of children adopted from abroad has almost doubled3 and the number of American agencies handling international adoptions has almost tripled.4 This trend has reached the point where it is rare for a primary care physician not to be following up at least one international adoptee. However, the number of children is yet insufficient for most physicians to have had extensive exposure to either the process of international adoption or the variety of medical problems that may afflict these children.

The purpose of this article is to provide an orientation to

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