28 Am. J.L. & Med. 473 (2002)
Adoption Medicine and the Internationally Adopted Child

handle is hein.journals/amlmed28 and id is 481 raw text is: American Journal of Law & Medicine, 28 (2002): 473-490
© 2002 American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics
Boston University School of Law
Adoption Medicine and the
Internationally Adopted Child
Laura A. Nicholsont
Throughout its history, this nation has opened its doors to people who,
for more reasons than anyone can count, have needed new homes. It
has taken us in, given us new lives. Adopted us.1
Dave and Susan brought five-year-old Liliana home from Romania in January.
The couple was ecstatic about their new beautiful blonde-haired daughter. They had
waited months for Liliana after beginning the international adoption process with a
reputable agency based in the United States. Many aspects of the process-carrying
large amounts of cash to Romania, bribing officials to release their new daughter
from the orphanage and the total lack of information about Liliana's health or
background-had disturbed them.3       Dave and Susan were relieved when Liliana
received a visa to travel to the United States because they thought that the physical
examination   for her visa had revealed nothing of import.4          Their concerns
disappeared when they boarded the plane to head home to the United States. Liliana
seemed healthy and happy, and she would adjust in no time.
t   B.A. English Literature, Southeast Missouri State University; J.D. candidate, Boston
University School of Law, 2003. Thank you to the Editorial Staff of the American Journal of Law &
Medicine for their invaluable contributions, and to Dr. Ronald and Patti Lessmann for their
encouragement. A special thank you to my parents, Cathy and Jerry, and to all of my family, Brianna
Coale and Jason Cheek.
AMERICA 51 (2000).
2   Lois and Juliana Hannon's international adoption experience inspired this section. Lois
adopted Juliana from a Romanian orphanage where no one spoke English and no medical records were
kept for Juliana. After arrival in the United States, physicians diagnosed Juliana with severe
developmental problems due to early sensory deprivation. In 1993, Lois Hannon co-founded the
Parent Network for the Post-Institutionalized Child to help other adoptive parents coping with similar
circumstances. See id. at 15 1-53.
3   See id.
4   See Jerri Ann Jenista, The Visa Medical Examination: The Facts, at http://www.fwcc.org
/visamedical.html (Apr. 6, 2002) (noting that the U.S. visa exam only determines whether a child has
an excludable condition and does not ensure that a child is physically, emotionally or developmentally
normal) [hereinafter Jenista, Visa].

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