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Overview of Possible Medical Conditions

Most adoptive families don’t have access to their child’s full medical or genetic history. When possible, you should ask the orphanage for any medical information they may have including family health history, congenital issues and prenatal and birth records.

It’s highly recommended that you take your child for a complete medical exam when you get home. Here is an overview suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics. This should include testing for anemia, thyroid and dental health. See our article on Vaccinations and Titers for guidance on missing or spotty immunization records.

The following health conditions are listed as a reference so adoptive parents are aware of issues their children may be facing. Please speak with a medical professional for diagnosis and evaluation.

Condition Explanation Articles to refer to
Nutritional deficiencies Vitamin and mineral deficiencies

Nutritional Supplements

Gut, Diet and Health Interventions

Thyroid Issues Hypothyroidism or Hyperthyroidism

Thyroid Related Conditions

Gut, Diet and Health Interventions

Hashimotos An autoimmune condition where the thyroid gland is attacked by the body

Thyroid Related Conditions

Gut, Diet and Health Interventions

Cholesterol Higher incidence of increased cholesterol at an early age (10) in adopted children Cholesterol
Precocious puberty Girls/Boys developing signs of puberty before the age of 8 (girls) and 9 (boys) Precocious and Delayed Puberty
Delayed puberty When signs of puberty aren’t noticeable until age 14 in boys and age 12 in girls—with an absence of menstruation by age 14 Precocious and Delayed Puberty
Short or Tall Stature Abnormally short or tall stature in people Stature
Severe Malnutrition Stunted growth, Catch-up growth, Refeeding Syndrome Adoption Nutrition
Sleep issues Some adopted children need to transition from old sleep habits to new ones Addressing sleep
Mongolian spots Dark brown or grayish spots common in people of African or Asian descent. Schools may not be aware and may mistake these spots for bruises Importance of documenting Mongolian Spots


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