Pediatricians play a large role in the process of adoption. A husband and wife who seek to adopt a child frequently begin their inquiries with a physician, who must be able to refer them to a responsible adoption agency. When a child is considered for placement, the physician’s examination is an important part of the evaluation procedure. The physician has an ongoing role in working with the adoptive parents to help make them effective parents. The adoption agency usually se ns parents thoroughly before placing a child in a home, and then carefully follows the child during the period of adjustment to the new home. The role of the adoption agency with its regulations and investigations can cause some estrangement between the worker and the adoptive family. The new parents want things to look good, so it is hard to feel comfortable bringing up questions about childrearing, a child’s behavior, and the intricacies of parenting. This is not meant to imply that the agencies do not try to help the parents in these areas, only to suggest that the early investigative atmosphere can nuke this difficult. The physician represents a neutral outside authority who is in a key position to work between the adoption agency and the parents to help ensure the best emotional climate for the child.
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