Some people have asked more about the adoption medical examination, so I have compiled an FAQ blog post. I hope it is of use, but please comment/email with any questions you might have. My personal experience of the medical is in a separate post – click here to read.
Why do we have do have a medical?
The medical is kind of an insurance facility for the adoption agency to ensure that the prospective adopters are healthy enough to take on a child. It sounds macabre, but they won’t want to be placing children with someone who has unwittingly got a crippling disease, or worse.
It is a pain, but a necessary one.
What exactly is involved in the medical?
This will depend on your specific medical history. I know that by having a complicated medical history does not rule out adoption, but it may mean some more thorough tests.
I believe that the medical may vary, depending on who completes it, however our medical consisted of the following:
- Blood pressure
- Eye exam (not eye test) – to check for specific diseases.
- Listen to your chest
- Mouth and throat exam
- Nervous and muscle system tests
- Breast exam (ladies)
Our tests did not include blood or urine tests, and I did not have my testicles examined, although I believe some men have done. Some women will have to have their breasts examined.
How much does it cost?
The recommended fee is £73.86 per carer, although this may be slightly out of date – check with your link worker. We were charged £102.00 each from our GP. We did discuss payment with the surgery and advised them that the recommended fee was less, but they simply ignored it.
It is costly, but again compulsory.
When do I take my adoption medical?
Again, I think this may vary on which agency you use, but our adoption medical was done after our home visits were finished, but obviously before we went to panel. They can be done at the start.
Note: We were advised that after a year of being ‘waiting adopters’ we may be due to have another medical examination. When we enquired about this, our social worker said it was not necessary, but I have heard that it is a possibility – check with your social worker.
Who will do it?
Our GP carried out ours, although I believe the agency can arrange a medical if need be – again check with your social worker.
Who needs to have the medical?
Any prospective adopter has to have the adoption medical, however I am yet to find out if any siblings need to have it. If for example you already have a child, they may need a medical as well, on the basis that if they are ill, then placing a child with you would not be a good idea. Once I find this out I will update this post.
Where will it take place?
Our medical took place at our local doctor’s surgery, if the adoption agency arranges it will be at the surgery of the doctor completing the medical.
How long does the adoption medical take?
Our medical took about an hour. My wife and I had ours done at the same time, and for a great deal of that, the doctor was completing the paperwork. The actual physical check was about ten minutes.
I hope this FAQ was helpful, please do comment if you have experienced anything different, and what your thoughts of the medical are.
Finally, my recommended book of the day:
Dan Hughes is a leading authority on attachment theory. This book is superb at explaining why children need love, and how children who have experienced trauma need a special kind of parenting.