Parents of adopted children can now consult with a nationally recognized expert in adoption medicine at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM). The new Adoption Program is led by Elaine Schulte, M.D., M.P.H. The goal of the program is to provide pre-adoption consultation services to families, as well as post-adoption evaluation and ongoing medical care to adopted children. Domestically adopted newborns, children adopted from foster care, and internationally adopted children are all included.
Approximately 120,000 children are adopted each year in the United States. The Adoption Program at CHAM supports families at every stage of the process. Dr. Schulte provides families with general information about adoption and can also review a prospective child's medical records. In addition, newly adopted children receive a comprehensive medical exam to screen for a variety of health issues and previously undiagnosed conditions.
Dr. Schulte, a professor of Pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, is a board-certified general pediatrician well known for developing comprehensive adoption medicine programs at leading institutions around the country, including the Cleveland Clinic. She has two daughters adopted from China, so she has both professional and personal expertise on the unique health needs of adopted children.
"Having been in this field for decades and provided care for thousands of adopted children, I know how to prepare parents for the challenges their child may experience and advise on the best treatment plan for each individual child," said Dr. Schulte, who is an active member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Foster Care, Adoption and Kinship Care. "It requires a special set of skills and understanding, because we know that being adopted is an integral part of who a person is, not just part of their history," said Dr. Schulte.
Nutritional and behavioral health needs are among the most common concerns for adopted children and their families. Many also have learning and attention challenges. Dr. Schulte is committed to ongoing support for children and their families and will connect them to sub-specialty care if needed.
"Dr. Schulte is a leader in the field of adoption medicine," said Judy Aschner, M.D., physician-in-chief, CHAM, and Michael I. Cohen, M.D., university chair and professor of pediatrics, Einstein. "She has created policy and clinical guidelines, served on national committees and created education programs for pediatricians and adoption agencies. There is a huge need for her expertise in New York, and our patients and families will truly benefit from her knowledge and care."