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 FACES: Foreign Adoption Clinic and Educational Services 

Foreign Adoption Clinic and Educational Services, or FACES, is a comprehensive program that addresses the medical, physical, emotional and psychosocial needs of internationally adopted children and their families.

The number of foreign adoptions has risen dramatically over the past two decades, with more than 20,000 children adopted from outside the United States annually since 2002.

All children deserve a loving, nurturing family to help them mature into adulthood. However, internationally adopted children come with many special health concerns and risks. These risks and concerns must be carefully considered prior to adoption to optimize an appropriate placement for both the well-being of the child and the family. These special medical needs must also be addressed after placement to help ensure the success of the family.

Contact Us

For more information about the FACES program or to arrange an appointment, please call 314-577-5643, ext. 2, or e-mail us at

FACES Services

Pre-Placement ServicesPre-adoption consultations and medical record reviews are available with Clinical Director Dr. Jennifer Ladage.During the initial consultation, Dr. Ladage will:

  • Address general health risks of children institutionalized in developing countries
  • Determine the health status and special needs of children being considered for adoption. This is done by reviewing with the parents any medical documents, video tapes, photographs, growth parameters, family history or other available information.
  • Recommend further medical testing, additional information, or consultation with specialists that may be needed to assist parents with their concerns and decisions.

Post-Placement ServicesAfter a child is brought home to the United States, FACES provides post-placement services to help parents and pediatricians address a child’s medical and emotional needs. These services include:

  • An initial post-placement examination of each child to assess general nutritional status, development, immunization status, and any known or suspected medical conditions. At this time, recommendations are also given for immunizations and laboratory testing, as well as any additional testing or specialty consultation that may be needed.
  • Consultation with the child’s pediatrician about the routine assessment and laboratory studies of the child, as well as recommendations of further evaluation or testing.
  • Long-term, primary care services for children with significant medical needs, and coordination of the care they require with other specialists, therapists and support services.
  • Because behavioral, emotional, and learning problems are common concerns, we also provide neurodevelopmental evaluations, which are completed with Jennifer Ladage, MD, and Barbara Whitman, PhD. Dr. Whitman is known internationally for her expertise in behavioral/developmental disorders and is a professor of pediatrics at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

Educational ServicesThe final service of FACES is to help educate community groups such as adoption agencies and adoption support groups, as well as the medical community, on medical issues of internationally adopted children. Foreign adoptions can be complicated, but ultimately, they are very rewarding, which is why our overall goal is to increase awareness of the special needs of these children.

Meet the Doctors

Jennifer Ladage, MD, is a pediatrician at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon and an Assistant Professor at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Section on Adoption and Foster Care, and participates with a national network of adoption professionals, which gives her access to medical translators in various countries, as well as the opportunity to consult with the nation’s leading health care professionals practicing adoption medicine.

Barbara Whitman, Ph.D., is known internationally for her expertise in behavioral/developmental disorders and is a Professor of Pediatrics at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

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