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Questions prospective parents should ask about a child

Here are medical questions adopting parents should ask when receiving a referral from a Children's Home (orphanage) in Russia.

1. Current information: head circumference, height, weight; developmental milestones appropriate for the child's age, such as rolling over, sitting, crawling. Ask for a range of measurements over time to gauge the growth of the child.

2. Emotional development of the child (evidence of attachment disorder).

3. History of illnesses, fevers, hospitalization, surgery, etc., and outcomes.

4. What do you know about the birth parents? What are their physical descriptions? Medical history and medical history of siblings. Any history of alcohol use by the birth mother? How many pregnancies?

5. What was the prenatal history?

6. Why was the child put in the orphanage?

7. Does the child have a favorite caretaker?

8. Does the child have any special friends?

9. What are the child's likes and dislikes?

10. What seems to comfort the child?

11. What kinds of food will he/she eat and not eat?

12. What is the child's ethnic background?

13. Does the child smile or laugh?

14. What should I know about caring for the child?

15. How is he/she doing health wise?

16. What are the lab results for HIV, HEP and syphilis?

17. How does the doctor think the child compares to other babies in the orphanage?

18. Child's Apgar scores and at what intervals? (An Apgar score is a way of quantifying a newborn's initial condition and response to any resuscitative efforts. It's determined by a simple assessment that a physician performs after the baby's birth.)

19. What inoculations has the child had?

20. What toys does he/she play with?

21. Does the child use a spoon or bottle?

22. Does he/she pass a toy from hand to hand?

23. Will the child be able to attend a normal school?

24. What is the child's age of development?

25. Results of any eye examination and hearing exam?

26. Results of any ultrasound of the brain?

27. What antibiotics has the child been given? (Certain antibiotics, if given to a premie, may cause deafness.)

28. What future help might this child need based on the doctor's experience, i.e. physical therapy, speech or developmental help?

29. Does the child have floppy muscles or stiffened limbs?

30. Has the child had any convulsions?

Source: "Russian Adoption Handbook"