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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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New country, new child

Pediatrician helps meet needs of international adoptions

Adoption can be one of the most exciting and rewarding times for a family—but it can also pose new and unexpected challenges, particularly when the child is from another country.

Anne Thompson/MUSC<BR><BR>Andrea Summer
Andrea Summer cuddles one of her young patients during the clinic hours for children adopted internationally, which the pediatrician established at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston.
Few people know about the range of potential problems new parents face with international adoption than Andrea Summer. The pediatrician and member of St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Charleston, S.C., has provided her services during visits to Tanzania and Madagascar. And she has co-founded, with her colleague Angela LaRosa, the state’s first clinic to care for the physical and behavioral needs of children from international adoptions.

The clinic, which runs one half-day a week out of the Medical University of South Carolina, opened its doors in spring 2004—and has seen a steady flow of patients since.

“I’ve had a long interest in international health and have done specialty work in tropical and travel medicine,” Summer said. “I realized that international adoption was becoming more popular and that there wasn’t a resource like this in our state.”


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