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THE ADOPTION CLINIC

The mission of The Adoption Clinic is to serve the initial and ongoing medical, developmental and emotional needs of adoptive parents and their children from around the world. We are a non-profit clinic located at Children's South in Birmingham, Alabama. We are staffed with professionals with a love for children who have been orphaned and a desire to see them accepted into loving and well-equipped families.

During this COVID-19 challenge, our team is available to help serve you and your family.

Welcome to The Adoption Clinic

The mission of The Adoption Clinic is to serve the initial and ongoing medical, developmental and emotional needs of adoptive parents and their children from around the world. We are a non-profit clinic located at Children's South in Birmingham, Alabama. We are staffed with professionals with a love for children who have been orphaned and a desire to see them accepted into loving and well-equipped families.

Every member of our team has a connection to orphans/adoption either through personal work in orphanages, adoption agencies, personal adoption experience or travel abroad to do mission work. Our interdisciplinary clinic includes pediatric medicine/pediatric nursing, occupational/developmental therapy, family therapy and audiology. We provide comprehensive medical services (both pre and post adoption). Families throughout the United States and abroad contact our office to receive Pre-adoption Medical Reviews by Dr. Jennifer Chambers or Dr. Carin Richard Kiser. Our services continue throughout the adoption process and beyond to assist parents in their journey through the international adoption experience. The Adoption Clinic has been helping adoptive families since 2002. During this time we have served the needs of children from over 55 different countries such as China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, South Korea, Guatemala, Peru, Vietnam, India, Thailand, Ethiopia, Uganda and many, many more.

If you would like to make a difference in the lives of hundreds families built through adoption, consider making a donation to The Adoption Clinic.

Donate to The Adoption Clinic


Subscribe to Our Newsletter

or send us an email at adoption@uabmc.edu

Download the Adoption Clinic Newsletter (Summer Edition) – (PDF)


Download Adoption Clinic Brochure

Our Services

Below is a list of services that we currently offer through our clinic:

Online Seminars: Domestic Seminar

If you are going through a domestic adoption process and would like further education on medical, developmental, and emotional topics to be prepare your home for a child, this is a great option for you. Our team at TAC has created a convenient, online option of our seminar just for domestic adoptive families. Once you complete the registration and payment process, you will be given access to video lectures. Upon completion of each lecture, you will be given a certificate of completion for your adoption agency/workplace.

Available to you online:

  • Expectations and realities

    • Dr. Jennifer Chambers

    • Provides you a realistic overview of what to expect with a domestic adoption

  • Essential of Adoption Medicine

    • Dr. Carin Kiser

    • Geared towards families adopting all ages

  • Ages and Stages

    • Amy Elmore, BS, OTR/L

    • Information on how to provide the best care for your child as your child grows

 

 

Meet Our Team

The Adoption Clinic is staffed with professionals who have a love for children who have been orphaned and a desire to see them accepted into loving and well-equipped families.

Physicians

The Adoption Clinic is staffed with professionals who have a love for children who have been orphaned and a desire to see them accepted into loving and well-equipped families. Most of us have worked in orphanages, adoption agencies, participated in foreign missions or have personal adoption experiences. We provide comprehensive interdisciplinary services including: pediatric medicine, pediatric nursing, developmental therapy, occupational therapy and family therapy. We also collaborate with multiple subspecialist in the pre and post adoption process to provide the most comprehensive care available to our families.

Jennifer Chambers and her family.
Jennifer Chambers, MD, MPH & TM

Pediatrician

Dr. Chambers is a board certified general pediatrician with a faculty appointment at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

See more >

Carin Richard Kiser and her family
Carin Richard Kiser, MD, Director of TAC

Pediatrician

Dr. Carin Richard Kiser is a Board Certified Pediatrician who earned her medical degree from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. She did her residency training in General Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Alabama.

See more >

The Developmental Specialist

Our therapist will perform a comprehensive developmental assessment on your child to determine if your child is progressing at an appropriate rate as compared to the typical internationally adopted child. She will determine if and when your child needs extra support to accomplish developmental milestones, speech needs and/or scholastic placement.

Due to the unique needs of adopted children, is often difficult to decide what therapy or educational setting is best for your child. The developmental specialist will help you sort this out. She serves as an educator (on adoption) for therapists and teachers that may take part in your child’s care. She is also available to help with Individual Educational Programs should they be necessary. Language and cognitive skills are screened and additional therapy referrals are made when necessary.

Amy Elmore and her family.
Amy Elmore, BS, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist, Developmental Therapist

Amy graduated from Medical University of South Carolina in 1996 with a bachelor's degree in Occupational Therapy. Since then she has worked in many pediatric settings including school systems, early intervention, hospitals and private practice.

See more >

The Family Therapist/Adoption Social Worker

Our therapist will assess your child for behavioral/emotional/attachment concerns that are frequently experienced post adoption. She can also help parents see which behaviors are appropriate for your child’s age/stage of development and how adoption-related issues may begin to integrate into your child’s emotional/social development.

She will give you recommendations on handling emotional issues the child may be facing as well as make referrals to local counselors when appropriate. She may also provide education on adoption to the schools and therapists who take part in your child’s care.

Heather Schuck and her family.
Heather Schuck, LICSW, PIP

Family Therapist and Social Worker

Heather Schuck is a Licensed, Board Certified Clinical Social Worker in the state of Alabama. She graduated from Southeastern Bible College with an undergraduate degree in Counseling and Biblical Studies. She also has a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Alabama.

See more >

Learning Difference Assessments

Does your child seem incredibly bright, yet struggles in school? One possibility for this disconnect is a difference in learning styles. In the general population globally, about 1 in 5 people (20%) learn differently from their age matched peers. They often experience difficulty with reading (Dyslexia), difficulty in math (Dyscalculia), difficulty in penmanship, spelling and communicating their thoughts on paper (Dysgraphia) or maybe even all three (Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and Dysgraphia). This difficulty stems from an alteration in the neural pathways of the brain which re-route information to the right side of the brain instead of the left side where most learning takes place. In the general population, it is an inherited difference and requires a unique style of academic intervention.

In the adoption world, the frequency of learning differences is exponentially higher. It may be as high as 40%–50% or even more. While some of our children’s struggles may indeed be inherited, the more likely causes are: life disruptions, lack of early engagement with caregivers, lack of intellectually stimulating play and emotional distress, all of which can cause an alteration in development of neural pathways. Many of our children experience anxiety, depression and other emotional factors post adoption that contribute to learning struggles.

At The Adoption Clinic, we offer services to help identify the specifics of your child’s struggles from an adoption perspective. We are experienced in sorting out what is emotional and adoption related as well as where the deficits are in the learning process. A Learning Difference Assessment is a multistep process. First, we will see your child in clinic to assess for health (including vision and hearing) and emotional wellness. We will want to address any ADD/ADHD, or emotional factors first. Then we will make recommendations and a referral for a Learning Difference Assessment.

Common signs of learning differences:

  • Delayed Speech or history of past speech therapy
  • Difficulty with word retrieval when speaking
  • Mixing up the sounds or syllables when saying long words
  • Articulation difficulties (r-l, m-n, s-sh-ch)
  • Past history of stuttering
  • Chronic Ear Infections
  • Chronic Confusion of Left versus Right
  • Difficulty Learning to tie shoes
  • Late in establishing a dominant hand
  • Difficulty following directions
  • Constant confusion of left versus right
  • Difficulty following multistep directions
  • Difficulty memorizing the names of letters and the sounds they make
  • Trouble memorizing one’s address, phone number, or the alphabet
  • Could not create words that rhyme by age of 4
  • Dysgraphia – poor handwriting
  • Letter of number reversals continuing past the end of first grade
  • Difficulty learning cursive
  • Difficulty learning to read – received extra tutoring
  • Slow choppy, or inaccurate reading:
    • Guesses based on shape or context or picture clues
    • Skips or misreads prepositions (at, to, of)
    • Ignores suffixes
    • Can’t easily sound out unknown words – despite being taught phonics
    • Cannot read high-frequency words
  • Terrible spelling
    • Cannot retain spelling words from one week to the next
    • Misspells high frequency words when writing
    • Often writes the wrong homonym
  • Difficulty telling time on a clock with hands
  • Trouble with math:
    • Memorizing math facts or multiplication tables
    • Memorizing a sequence of steps
    • Directionality
    • Cannot read word problems
  • Extremely messy bedroom, backpack, and desk
  • Dreads going to school
    • Complaining of stomach aches or headaches
    • May have nightmares about school
  • Extremely poor written expression
    • Written expression not at all similar to oral expression
  • Difficulty copying off the board or with near point copying
    • Often makes mistakes when copying
    • Can only copy one or two letters at a time
    • Often makes mistakes when copying
  • Extreme difficulty taking notes during lectures
  • Unable to master the written aspects of a foreign language
  • Difficulty reading printed music
  • Homework can be a struggle – takes forever
    • Nightly homework wars
    • Unable to do homework without assistance

 

Top 5 Things I Wish I Had Known Ahead of Time

We have talked with hundreds of families over the years. In our discussions, we have found some common threads regarding things they wish they had known prior to coming home. We thought it would be helpful to share their experiences and offer some advice in preparation for your journey home.

Download the PDF

Events

Come join us in our upcoming events

Domestic Adoption–Online Seminar

Attention all families pursuing domestic adoption! We have an online seminar just for you. 
Learn more about our online domestic seminar.


Online Seminars–Adoption Bootcamp

If you and your family/friends are unable to attend one of our live Adoption Bootcamp Seminars, there is another option available to you via our Adoption Bootcamp Online Seminar. Learn More.

Contact Us

Reach out to us and find out where we are located

Front of The Adoption Clinic.

Clinic Location

The Adoption Clinic is located in the Children’s South building which is south of downtown Birmingham. It is at this location that we see all of our patients coming for post-adoption medical, developmental, and/or social assessments.

Children's South Location
1940 Elmer J. Bissell Road
Birmingham, AL 35243

Phone: 205-638-6964

Printer-friendly map version (PDF)

Business Office

Our administrative offices are located on the Children’s of Alabama campus in downtown Birmingham. You may send any important documents or mailings by postal service to this location. Please note that we do not see patients here.

The Adoption Clinic
1600 7th Avenue South, CPPI Suite 302
Birmingham, AL. 35233

Phone: 205-638-6964

Email: adoption@uabmc.edu

Donate to The Adoption Clinic

Directions to Children's South

From I-65 North take Exit 250 to the right and bear right onto I-459 North (Atlanta/Gadsden). Take Acton Road Exit 17 to the right and turn left onto Acton Road. Go under the interstate and at the second traffic light turn right onto Elmer J. Bissell Road. The building will be on the left.

From I-65 South take Exit 250 to the right and bear left onto I-459 North (Atlanta/Gadsden). Continue as indicated above.

From 280 East and West take the I-459 South Exit (Montgomery/Tuscaloosa). Go 2 miles and take Acton Road Exit 17 to the right. Turn right onto Acton Road and at the second traffic light turn right onto Elmer J. Bissell Road. The building will be on the left.

From I-459 North take Action Road Exit 17 to the right. Turn left at Acton Road, go under the interstate and at the second traffic light turn right onto Elmer J. Bissell Road. The building will be on the left.

From I-459 South take Acton Road Exit 17 to the right. Turn right onto Acton Road and at the second traffic light turn right onto Elmer J. Bissell Road. The building will be on the left.