The following announcement was published by the U.S. Center for Disease Control for those families adopting a Haitian orphan.
Important Health Information for Parents Adopting Children from Haiti during the 2010 Earthquake Recovery
Congratulations on the adoption of your child!
Adding a new member of the family is a very exciting event -one that brings new joys, challenges, and duties. As you are getting your child settled into your family, one thing that is important to address right away is your child’s health.
Even before the 2010 earthquake, the health of many Haitian orphans was very poor. Serious infectious diseases, especially tuberculosis (TB), are a concern in Haiti. High rates of malnutrition is also a serious concern. Orphans tend to be greatly affected by these health issues. Therefore, it is very important that children adopted from Haiti coming to the United States are screened for such illnesses so that they can be treated as soon as possible.
Initial Medical Exam for Children Adopted from Haiti
Before internationally adopted children come to the United States, they are usually required to have a medical exam.
However, orphans from Haiti have been allowed to bypass this medical exam due to the lack of medical care available in Haiti since the January 2010 earthquake. It is still very important that children adopted from Haiti after
the 2010 earthquake have a medical exam to screen for infectious diseases and other health issues. This exam should
take place as soon as possible after arrival in the United States by a doctor or medical provider. If you do not have a doctor or medical provider, please contact your local health department.
The initial exam should include:
general physical exam, including a measure of nutrition
screening for tuberculosis (TB)*
vaccinations, as appropriate for the age of the child
screening for intestinal parasites
a blood test (with complete blood cell count)
screening for malaria
treatment for chronic diseases, such as asthma
* If sputum specimens have to be collected for any child, the medical provider should inform the local health department. This will ensure proper follow-up.
More Complete Medical Exam for Children
Adopted from Haiti
After children adopted from Haiti are settled in their new homes, a more complete medical evaluation is also
recommended. This exam will ensure that all possible health issues are uncovered and treated. This more complete exam should include:
hearing and vision tests
growth and development evaluations
culturally appropriate mental health assessment
blood lead testing
screening for congenital defects (such as fetal alcohol
A doctor or other medical provider should use the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines on the Medical Evaluation of Internationally Adopted Children for Infectious Diseases for this exam (Red Book®: 2009 Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases – 28th Ed. (2009). Please note that the initial medical exam and more complete
medical exam can take place at the same time. However, the initial medical exam should not be delayed if a more
complete medical exam cannot take place right away.
For more information:
Immigrant, Refugee, and Migrant Health Branch
Division of Global Migration and Quarantine
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road, NE, MS E-03
Atlanta, Georgia, USA 30333