Children's Hospital Colorado
Primary Care
Primary Care

What to Expect at the International Adoption Clinic

When you choose our International Adoption Clinic (IAC) to support your family's adoption, you can expect a personalized approach from a multidisciplinary team. All of us are dedicated to providing high-quality, comprehensive care to your child and family throughout the international adoption process.

Before your visit to our clinic

Your first visit to the International Adoption Clinic is a consultation and should not take the place of a full physical exam with your child's pediatrician or primary care doctor within the first two weeks of arriving home. This allows any urgent medical concerns to be addressed and your child to establish care with a primary provider.

We recommend that your child's doctor wait to give any immunizations or obtain bloodwork until after your visit here. We generally do screening bloodwork during your visit and will provide immunization recommendations once any vaccine titers have been evaluated. Titers measure the concentration of antibodies that fight disease in the blood. By checking what types of antibodies are present and in what amounts, we can see whether or not a child is already immune to certain diseases from any previous vaccination or exposure.

We accept referrals from your pediatrician or primary care provider. We like to see children for a first assessment when they have been home for four to six weeks so the child is able to adjust to his or her new surroundings. This makes it possible for our therapists to perform better developmental assessments. In special circumstances, we may authorize earlier appointments if required by the child's condition. We can also see children who have been home for longer periods of time and have new developmental, behavioral or health concerns.

What to bring to your appointment

Please bring any medical or other pertinent records for your child to the visit. You will also be sent a short intake form to complete and bring to your appointment. It is helpful if you check with your insurance plan before your visit to make sure that lab work is covered at Children's Hospital Colorado.

It is ideal to have both parents come to the appointment whenever possible. We recommend that siblings not attend, or be scheduled for appointments on the same day, as the visits are long for the children. If travel or scheduling does not permit this for the family, we recommend having a discussion with our scheduler and bringing additional help, such as a second parent or grandparent, as well as snacks and toys for siblings.

What to expect during your visit

Your visit to the International Adoption Clinic will last about 90 minutes. Because we believe that areas of development cannot be looked at separately, we will evaluate your child and family as a whole. The coordination of all of our assessments will give us a full picture of your child's development.

Generally, all of the providers will meet together with your family to gather an initial history of your child's previous living situation, family history, birth history, past medical/surgical histories and developmental history. We will also discuss nutrition, sleeping habits, urination, stooling and any other concerns. Each therapist (occupational therapist, physical therapist and clinical neuropsychologist) will perform a developmental assessment, and the medical providers (general pediatrician and pediatric nurse practitioner) will perform a full physical examination.

Learn more about our care team and what they do.

At the end of the visit, our providers will share their feedback with you. We'll also send a comprehensive report with our findings and recommendations to your family and your child's pediatrician or primary care doctor.

Why is our assessment important for your child's primary doctor?

Our developmental assessments and medical recommendations specific to international adoption help primary care physicians (PCPs) best manage and treat these children. We give PCPs several recommendations for screening bloodwork to assess environmental, nutritional and infectious risks. Or if we have done this bloodwork during your visit to our International Adoption Clinic, we'll send the results to your child's doctor. This is important because there are no general guidelines for bloodwork for international adoptees, therefore most PCPs don't know what labs to order. We also provide immunization recommendations because many PCPs aren't trained to check vaccine titers to confirm prior immunization.

Our developmental assessments (done by providers who specialize in international adoption) are also something that children would not receive at their PCP's office.

Contact our international adoption experts

For more questions about adoption medicine or our international adoption services, please contact us via phone at 720-777-4963 or by email at International.Adoption@childrenscolorado.org.

Coming to the International Adoption Clinic

The International Adoption Clinic is located in the Multidisciplinary Clinic at Children's Colorado. The Multidisciplinary Clinic is located on the second floor of the East Tower of our hospital on Anschutz Medical Campus.

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