Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2018 - 15

ADOPTION MEDICINE / FEATURE

While adoption is an incredible thing that can happen to a child and
a family, it comes with its share of challenges-from medical and
social conditions to developmental and psychological issues. Enter
adoption medicine-a pediatric field where the specialists often
have a strong personal connection to adoption and a clear mission
to make a difference.
By Megan McDonnell Busenbark

J

udith Eckerle has built a life around paying it forward. Abandoned shortly after her birth in South Korea, she was soon adopted by a Minnesota
family. Today, she is an adoption medicine physician and director of
the Adoption Medicine Clinic at University of Minnesota Masonic Children's
Hospital in Minneapolis. This is where Eckerle now helps families who are
adopting children, whether internationally, domestically or from foster care.
"This is so personal to me," says Eckerle, M.D., associate professor, division of
global pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School. "I feel things
very deeply for the families and the kids."
These families and kids come to clinics like Eckerle's for care and cure
through adoption medicine, which includes pre-adoption counseling and evaluation of the child, counsel during travel to the country from which the child is
being adopted and post-adoption care and consultations. This field of adoption
medicine began to emerge toward the end of the 20th century, when it became
clear that children who were born abroad and adopted in North America often
faced medical problems, but there were no specialists to help.
When the clinic at University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital
opened in 1986, it was the first one of its kind in the United States. Over the
years, the clinic has provided more than 30,000 pre-adoption reviews for children in 40-plus countries. Today, a handful of children's hospitals offer this
care. Here's a look at how these programs are helping adoptees and their families from infancy to adulthood.

Judith Eckerle, M.D., talks with a patient at University of Minnesota
Masonic Children's Hospital. Photo: Jonathan Chapman

CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL S TODAY Spring 2018

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2018

Contents
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2018 - Intro
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2018 - Cover1
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2018 - Cover2
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2018 - Contents
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2018 - 2
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2018 - 3
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2018 - 4
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2018 - 5
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2018 - 6
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Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2018 - Cover3
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2018 - Cover4
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