Dr. Gustafson and girl with bunny

How We Support You

As you begin the adoption process we are aware of the challenges before you and the decisions you must make. As pediatricians and adoption specialists, our role is to assist you in understanding your child’s medical history, risk factors, and the resources you will need to effectively parent your child.

Our task during the preadoption process is to guide you in the assessment of the child whose referral information you have received. Our goal is to outline the health needs of that particular child and assist you in assessing necessary resources you will need to adequately care for that child. We are available to answer questions throughout your adoption process. After your child arrives home, our clinic will fully assess your child from a medical, developmental and psychological perspective with our multidisciplinary team.

Based on our review of the medical records of more than 30,000 children and working with families for over 35 years in our clinic, we know that predicting the needs of children from high risk environments is the most difficult area of adoption medicine. However, we have learned through our research that when a child is matched with a family, who understands and can meet that child’s mental and physical health needs, a child is able to reach their full potential.

The Central Question

The major problem that we are only beginning to understand is how early risk factors such as prenatal care, institutional care, loss of a parent/parents, neglect and stressful early transitions impact a child’s health and development in the long term.

“What can we say about the child being considered by you and your family for adoption?” 
Parents want to know if their child will be at an appropriate developmental stage for their age on arrival home. Adopted children often have special needs due to early deprivation of emotional and nutritional nurture; emotional trauma; and unmet medical needs. Thus, these children are at high risk for mental and physical health issues. Oftentimes, necessary health care to address these issues is not available or accessible in their country of birth.

We know how critical it is for adopting parents to best understand the challenges that lie ahead and to have the available resources to meet those obstacles. An adoptive family is a remarkable environment for a child to grow and develop to their full potential and find healing from emotional and physical trauma. Every week we meet children, who are adopted and thriving in their new families.

It is our hope that every child finds a family in which to grow strong and healthy, and it is our pleasure to assist in this process.

Contact Us

Administrative Offices
717 Delaware St SE
3rd Floor
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Phone: 612-624-1164

Clinic Appointments

Discovery Clinic
2512 S. 7th St
3rd Floor
Minneapolis MN, 55414

Phone: 612-365-6777