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Finding a pediatrician


My husband and I are currently on a waiting list for a domestic infant and are trying to educate ourselves as much as possible during this waiting time. We would like to locate a pediatrician sooner rather than later in our process to have someone to help guide our decisions and inform us on what to expect and how to move forward with the prospect of a drug/alcohol exposed baby. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to begin locating pediatricians that specialize/are familiar with working with adopted babies as well as possibly exposed babies? We live in central Maryland, but any suggestions would be possible that may guide our search.


Posted by KMO on Dec 05, 2017 at 3:30pm

Finding a pediatrician is a great idea to do early. We asked around a lot. Friends, our own PCP, and our adoption group. Being close to home was a hugely important factor too.

We ended up just having to do a couple of “pre-natal” interviews. Most pediatricians are happy to meet with you and answer any questions you might have and they’ll ask you questions back to see if you’re a good fit for them.

Our main questions were if they were pro vaccination, worked with many adopted children, how diverse their client base was (single parent, same sex, POC), and of course how familiar they were with drug exposure.

I grew up in central MD and have family still in the area. While I’m not sure about the answers to these questions I can suggest Dr. Alice Tanner if you’re near the Glen Burnie area. She’s amazing. She was my younger brother’s pediatrician and now my sister’s 3 kids go to her.

Good luck!

Posted by haplo82 on Dec 05, 2017 at 4:03pm

Haplo82 provided really good advice! It’s great that you are lining up a pediatrician. You never know if you will have an emergency placement (buy the car seat, too!) and you will have to see a pediatrician soon after discharge anyway.

My sons are now 6 and 3, so the additiona long-haull advice I have is to choose a practice that has weekend hours. My first was a preemie, so I also appreciated that the waiting area had a sick room so he wouldn’t be exposed to sick kids when he was so fragile. The practice I go to has a roster of doctors, so there’s usually good availability to be seen within hours of a call. I wholeheartedly agree with the above about the practice being pro-vaccine. An affiliation with a good hospital near you is also a plus.

Consider asking your lawyer or agency if they could ask clients if they have had a good experience with a particular physician.

Best wishes on your journey, and good for you for seeing to all this during your wait.

Posted by KevinCO on Dec 05, 2017 at 4:17pm

It’s a great idea to line up your pediatrician early, because you just never know.  Just to warn you, the average pediatrician doesn’t know much about adoption.  Our first pediatrician worked with DCF, so she knew about drug exposure, and was familiar with foster care, but didn’t have much experience with private newborn adoption. It wasn’t a major issue for me, but just be prepared.

With our second adoption, there were some pregnancy complications, and she was able to help me with reviewing records, etc.

Posted by jszmom on Dec 07, 2017 at 10:30pm

Thanks for the responses everyone! Any specific questions to ask the pediatrician that would be helpful to know? I have been looking around and everywhere states “make sure you get a doctor that is familiar with working with babies who have been adopted, but other than possibly limited or unknown medical history, are there any other specifics situations I should be asking what experience they have? I guess I am just confused why a normal pediatrician who does not have history with adopted children wouldn’t be able to provide the same care.

Posted by KMO on Dec 12, 2017 at 1:33pm

well it depends on the adoption. The baby might be drug or alcohol exposed, some babies come from countries that might have diseases that most US MDs are not familiar with.

Some may have a practice which is mainly one cultural group and not familiar with issues that effect another.

Posted by Regina on Dec 12, 2017 at 2:13pm

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