International Adoption Info

Newsletter #83 for Internationally Adopting Parents
February 28, 2008
PAL Center Inc.


in March

Dr. Gindis presents:

Q. I realize I need to get my daughter into therapy. I found a psychotherapist in town. She deals with highly functioning children with autism, ADHD, fetal alcohol syndrome etc. Is there anything specific I should be asking her about before committing?

A. Yes, there are some questions for a therapist you should ask:

  • How much experience do you have with internationally adopted children? How often do you treat children in this group?
  • Here is a list of behaviors in my child that concerns me (provide a list of your top 5). What do you feel could lead to these behaviors?
  • What type of training do you have in diagnosing and treating those behaviors?
If you are specifically seeking out attachment therapy, in addition to the above, ask:
  • Please describe for me a typical attachment treatment session. How involved is the parent in the therapy? If holding is used, is the child held against her will?
  • Have you had specific training for trauma issues?
  • What kind of support would you provide to parents in your practice, or do you only work with the children?
  • If there was an emergency, how would you proceed?
  • Are you accessible on the evenings, nights, weekends? If you are away, who is your back up?
  • If the child got into some kind of difficulty with Dept. of Social Services/Child Abuse Services or Police, how would you proceed?
Dr. Gindis

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or as a user of the International Adoption Articles Directory.


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Discussing the issues

You cannot be too careful with the child's documentation

At the BGCenter we often see the same: the original documents from the country of adoption are not complete, not translated or poorly translated. In some cases it is not critical for a parent to find out that there was something missing in a document translation that is clearly a new detail in their child's early medical/developmental history: they fall in love with the kid and decide on adoption regardless of the details.

But there are cases (and they unfortunately are not so rare), when a new information discovered in the original records of a child brought to the Center for an initial screening on arrival can lead to shocking experience. One of the cases that stands out in memory, is a five year old girl, adopted from Russia by a single parent from a large Metropolitan area.

The child stepped into the room with her mom in tow. She was tall and well nourished for her age and background, well groomed and appropriately polite, quietly listening for the conversation among adults without interruptions and demands for attention. But even at the very first look there was something unusual about her: she did not really move away from the same spot in the middle of the room while we talked to the mother and did not attempt to play with the toys around her despite of the invitations.

The screening appointment began as usual - with Dr. Gindis' interview with the parent and looking through the documentation brought by the mother. The translated documents appeared pretty normal, prompting no major questions or concerns. The mother was very exited (just several days after the completion of adoption process - who would not?!). She brought the child for screening to decide on the proper school placement and was thinking about a private school, music lessons and a lot more she envisioned for her daughter. The next step - testing of the child. According to mom, the girl was a great talker and a really sweet kid with a great promise. What was she talking about? When tested in her native Russian, she kept talking indeed, speaking out total gibberish in response to the majority of the questions, not being able to even repeat a complete short sentence, not being able to manipulate simple objects correctly, and not being able to understand even a very simple for her age level command. How could it be that there was no notation about her low developmental level in her documentation? The look at the original Russian copy of the documents from the orphanage explained it all: the child was mentally retarded, and this notation in her medical history was missing from the translation.

All Language Alliance, Inc.
Expert Foreign Language Document Translations Hinder Adoption Fraud
Foreign language document translation plays an important role in international adoptions.
We can't repeat it enough:
Collect all information you possibly can,
double-check and cross-reference it;
do not take the translation for a face value - even innocent mistakes
of a translator who is not particularly familiar with medical terminology
can happen.
Read more about documentation you need to collect about the child in the International Adoption Articles Directory and on the BGCenter Online School site, section Presentation #2


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