6814 Greenwood Avenue N.
Seattle, WA 98103

206.367.1065

Will I Know About the Birth Parents' Health History?

One concern that is common among many prospective adoptive parents is whether they will have all the information they need about the health of their adopted child. Adoption does pose some limits on the amount of information available to both the adoptive parents and the child him or herself about health issues.

However, a qualified adoption attorney will make sure that birth parents are properly screened, that medical records are ordered, and that all information that the birth parents are willing to share is passed on to the adoptive parents.  And with the guidance of your adoption attorney, adoptive parents can decide in advance what types of medical risks they are willing to accept, and how much medical and background information about the child to be adopted they feel they must have to go forward with an adoption plan.

Health History for Adoptive Parents

Your Washington adoption lawyer will work with the birth parents and other adoption professionals to obtain as much medical and background information as possible regarding the birth parents of a child you are considering adopting. She will advise you on what to expect, and use her experience working on many adoptions to help you judge whether a particular adoption situation is a good fit for your family.  

With her past experience as the Executive Director of an adoption agency, attorney Joyce Schwensen, has helped many adoptive parents find adoption matches and consider all available information so they can have a successful adoption. Call the Law Offices of Joyce S. Schwensen today at (206) 367-1065 to set up a consultation.

Joyce Schwensen assists potential adoptive parents throughout Washington State, including in Seattle, Spokane, Vancouver and Tacoma.


Health Details in a Washington Adoption

If you are aware of certain health conditions that have occurred in your child’s biological family, then you can be a better parent for your child by knowing what to avoid, what to watch out for, and what to prepare for. Your adoption attorney will make sure that the birth parents of your child are asked to provide very comprehensive medical background information about themselves and their extended families. They will be asked whether they, their other children, their parents, siblings, grandparents or any other relatives have experienced diabetes, hypertension, cancers, mental illness, and many other conditions.

Even in closed adoptions this information is gathered before the adoption, and the adoptive parents will have it available throughout the child’s life. Although the information is non-identifying, meaning that the identities of the birth parents will not be revealed, the amount of background information made available is usually quite comprehensive. Most birth parents are cooperative in providing thorough medical and background information in their reports.

In open adoptions, because you will have some level of contact with one or both of the birth parents, additional medical information can sometimes be obtained later in the child’s life. This can include new information that may not have been available prior to the child’s birth, such as member of the biological family developing a new condition after the adoption has been completed. This can be a benefit to all parties involved of having an open adoption.

It is important to remember that, like any other method of bringing a child into your life, there are no guarantees about a child's health. However, most children available for adoption are healthy.


What About Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco?

An unfortunate perception about birth mothers is that they are placing their children because they are unfit parents due to addiction to drugs and alcohol, and any child they have may have severe health conditions.

In reality, many birth mothers have no substance abuse problems but they are simply are not in a good place to be parents at the time. Many have one or more children they are already raising, and are acutely aware that they are not prepared to add a child to their family. Some have had drug or alcohol problems in the past, but were able to become clean and sober prior to becoming pregnant.

And even among the birth mothers who do suffer from drug addiction or alcohol abuse, they often care a great deal about what happens to their child, or they would not be considering adoption. Most will provide accurate information about their substance abuse so that adoptive parents can make informed decisions about whether the adoption is one that can work with their own hopes and expectations. 

Your Seattle adoption attorney, working with your medical advisor, will help you assess the possible impacts on the child of any drug or alcohol abuse that has been disclosed, so you can decide whether becoming a particular child’s parents is the right decision for your family.


Law Offices of Joyce S. Schwensen | Washington Adoption Lawyer for Concerned Adoptive Parents

Concerns about the health of the child are common for all potential parents who are considering adoption. Washington adoption lawyer Joyce Schwensen can help you gather the information and resources you need to make sound decisions during your adoption process, so that you can be the best parents possible to your adopted child. Call (206) 367-1065 today to set up a consultation.

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