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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Daniel R. Bronfin, M.D.(Ochsner Clinic Foundation)
Description: This is the first comprehensive book devoted to the burgeoning field of international adoption medicine. Roughly 200,000 children have been adopted from other countries by Americans since 1986; the unique medical and developmental problems of these patients require specialized knowledge by the providers and families who care for them.
Purpose: The book successfully guides the reader through the medical, legal, psychosocial, developmental, and emotional issues in 1) preparing for international adoption, 2) initial evaluation of a child upon arrival to the U.S., and 3) early recognition and management of possible long-term problems based on the child's country of origin.
Audience: Pediatricians will be the main beneficiary of this effort. It will also prove to be a useful book for social workers, therapists, nonmedical adoption professionals and parents.
Features: Dr. Miller focuses on pre-adoption issues, prenatal exposures, travel and transition, growth and development, infectious diseases and other medical problems, and neurocognitive/behavioral issues relevant to international adoptees. The emphasis on issues unique to various countries of origin and the in-depth discussion on the effects of institutionalization were most enlightening.
Assessment: This is an indispensable resource for physicians who provide care to these children and an important and fascinating read for all child advocates. Dr. Miller appropriately comments in the preface that credit is often inappropriately given to healthcare professionals for these children's successes, while in fact, the "most profound intervention of all" is the act of adoption itself.