Monday, November 9, 2009

Results of POSitive Study -Financial, International Adoption Clinic and Early Intervention Sections

Financial planning for expected and unexpected post-adoption issues (health- and education–related) and trusts have been a frustration for some adoptive parents. We asked if agencies, social workers or attorneys provided information prior or after adopting. Twenty-three percent discussed financial planning or trusts prior to adopting with their adoption professional and two percent afterwards. Eighty-eight percent received financial services from their own resources and six percent were unable to get their desired financial services.

Sixty-three percent currently feel that they do not need further information about financial planning. Twenty-four percent would like information on 529/educational trusts, eighteen percent on wills; sixteen percent on trusts; fifteen percent on special needs trusts.

Ninety percent of people never received information about child life insurance from their adoption professional yet thirty-three percent did try to obtain a child life policy. Of those who applied for one, eighty-nine percent were able to obtain one.

We asked adoptive parents what types of financial services should be mandatorily discussed by adoption professionals with prospective /adoptive parents. Forty-one percent feel that financial planning and trusts should be discussed pre-adoption and thirty percent feel it should be discussed post-adoption.

International Adoption Clinic and Primary Care Provider
For those that internationally adopted (90% of our sample), we asked about the use of international adoption (IA) clinics. Fifty-seven percent of people used IA clinics prior to adopting and thirty-one percent never had contact with an IA clinic or doctor with expertise in international adoption. Furthermore, forty-three percent of parents only corresponded with IA clinic via phone, fax or email, likely to review child referral information.

Of those who physically went to IA clinics, thirty-five percent saw a doctor prior to adoption, thirty percent one to two weeks after the child came home, twelve percent saw the doctor three to four weeks after arriving home and ten percent within one to three months after arriving home.

Fifty-four percent saw a general pediatrician first, twenty-nine percent saw a developmental pediatrician first, eight percent saw an infectious disease specialist first. Forty-five percent were not referred to any specialist following IA doctor appointment. Referrals to early intervention providers accounted for 16 percent; to speech therapist for 15 percent; to occupational therapist for 13 percent and to audiologist for 10 percent. Eighty percent of those who used IA doctor services rated their experience as good or excellent.

Seventy-three percent said that their child’s primary care provider took the child’s past history/adoptive status into account when first examining the child.

Primary care providers referred patients to the following types of specialists: speech therapist 18%, early intervention provider 17%, audiologist 12%, pediatric dentist 11%. Eighty-six percent rated their primary care provider services as good or excellent.

Early Intervention
Eighty-six percent of respondents adopted a child 5 years of age or younger while residing in the US. Of those respondents, fifty-seven percent had their child screened or used their state’s Early Intervention services. Eleven percent of parents contacted Early Intervention before their child even came home. Fifty-two percent contacted Early Intervention services after returning home without a health care provider suggestion.

Of those who had their child screened, 60 percent had their child screened for speech, occupational, physical and developmental/educational interventions. The rest did not have assessments in all categories. For those who did not get screening in all four categories, the reasons given were not feeling child needed all the assessments: 43%; childs’ doctor did not feel all assessments were needed: 25%; early intervention services discouraged a full screening: 24%.

Seventy percent of those screened in any category qualified for services with speech therapy at eighty-five percent, developmental/education intervention at fifty-two percent, occupational therapy at forty-five percent and physical therapy at thirty-nine percent. Eighty-two percent of those who had services for their child rated their experience as good or excellent.

While people from some localities reported excellent services, there is a great inconsistency across the US. There were a number of people who did not get services or had to “fight” to get early intervention. Some of the more common reasons for not having services include: that speech services were denied because the child was learning English, uncertainty of child’s true age led to disqualification, international adoption is not a reason for screening, services not adequate or unprepared for developmental services for children effected by trauma, occupational therapy screening missed sensory issues, some localities base services on income, making it very expensive for the adoptive parent, screening too basic, speech services denied because some localities require a delay in another area before speech services are given, no one to assess in child’s native language, program was full and no more slots were available.

Next week we will be sharing mental health, faith-based and school-based services results.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

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