October 17, 2007

Book recommendation: Handbook of International Adoption Medicine

TheHandbookofInternationalAdoptionMedicinePublished in 2005 by the Oxford University Press, Laurie C. Miller's Handbook of International Adoption Medicine: A Guide for Physicians, Parents, and Providers is both wide-ranging and thorough. Although I haven't personally had the opportunity to hold it in my hands, this adoption resource comes highly recommended.

Handbook of International Adoption Medicine is written with both the adoptive parent and the medical professional in view. The book's 36 chapters are divided into 7 sections. Here are the sections, with a sampling of the chapter topics (these are not always exact chapter titles, and some chapter topics are combined or omitted in this list):

    1. Before the adoption
      • Effects of institutionalization
      • The referral


    1. Prenatal exposures
      • Drug and alcohol exposure
      • Maternal smoking
      • Effects of stress

    1. Travel and transition


    1. Growth and development
      • Malnutrition
      • Developmental delay


    1. Infectious diseases
      • Tuberculosis
      • Hepatitis B & C
      • HIV


    1. Other medical conditions
      • Uncertain age
      • Precocious puberty
      • Lactose intolerance


  1. Neurocognitive and behavioral issues
    • Attachment
    • Behavioral and mental disorders
    • Language competence and school issues
    • Culture and identity

Here is the publisher's blurb about the book:

Book Description
Since 1989, American families have adopted more than 230,000 children from other countries. Many of these children have lived in crowded conditions, sometimes with poor standards of hygiene, inadequate nutrition, and limited numbers of caregivers. Some suffer from endemic infectious diseases. Upon arrival, practitioners often fail to recognize the unique concerns of this group. This text provides an overview of the specialized medical and developmental issues that affect internationally adopted children, offering guidelines to the physicians caring for these children and their families before, during, and after adoption. The reader will learn how to advise families prior to an international adoption, how to perform an effective initial screening assessment of the newly arrived child, and how to recognize and manage developmental and other more long-term problems as they emerge.

About the Author
Laurie C. Miller is at Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA.

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