Thursday, May 7, 2009

I will spew you out of my mouth

Yes, that's a fragment of a Bible verse. But more specifically, it describes my feelings toward a nonsensical, discriminatory policy that's being applied to HIV + internationally adopted children regarding tuberculosis testing. To many of you, this has been a hot topic for the last couple of months...I'm referring to the sputum test. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is requiring sputum samples as part of the embassy medical for all adoptions of HIV+ children. They confirmed that it WILL be required of all HIV+ kids, even kids under two years old, and the results may take up to two months to get back. The PPD (skin test) will not be permitted as a substitution. The reason being given for this is that this is the protocol for immigrants/refugees, and thus it is being imposed upon the children of US adoptive parents as well. The problem here is that the sputum test is not even the universally accepted manner of diagnosing TB!

Medline defines the test in this manner (laymen's terms): "A sputum sample is obtained by coughing deeply and expelling the material that comes from the lungs into a sterile cup. The sample is taken to a labarotory and placed in a medium under conditions that allow the organisms to grow." In other words, these poor children are being subjected to an unnecessarily invasive test as well as having their union with their new families further delayed due to bureacracy. There are so many things wrong with this policy that my brief post will not do justice to, but fortunately many individuals and groups within the adoption community are fighting against this. Visit Project Hopeful ( and Equality for Adopted Children ( to learn more and to find out how you can help stop this injustice.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

We are entering our eighth week of sputum testing today. I am so thankful to Project Hopeful and EACH for taking our stories to Washington DC and spreading the word about this. I hope this policy will change so that the children that follow do not have to go through this ordeal.