(HealthDay)—As more children are adopted each year, pediatricians must be knowledgeable about adoption issues and model positive language for adoptive families, according to a clinical report published online Sept. 24 in Pediatrics.
Veronnie F. Jones, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues from the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Early Childhood and Council on Foster Care, Adoption, and Kinship Care, examined the role of the pediatrician in supporting adoptive families.
The researchers report that approximately 120,000 children, representing 2 percent of the U.S. population, are adopted every year. The role of pediatricians may start with reviewing preadoption health records to help families assess the health needs of children they plan to adopt. The pediatrician can help parents decide how and when to communicate about adoption with their children. They should introduce adoptive parents to available resources and provide support for parents during the child's developmental understanding of adoption. Pediatricians should be encouraged to model positive adoption language for adoptive families. This effective communication is key in promoting the long-term mental and physical health of adopted children and their families.
"As more children each year become part of permanent families through adoption, it is becoming increasingly important for pediatricians to be aware of and knowledgeable about adoption," the authors write. "Pediatricians play an important role in helping families deal with the differences, the losses, and the many other issues surrounding the adoption of a child."