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HIV+ and foster/adopting
Jul 10, 2003

I don't know who to direct the following question to at The Body. Please re-direct if necessary. My partner is HIV-, however, I am HIV+. I am taking meds and feel fine. We would like to foster/adopt a child, and have taken all the necessary classes. The home studies are almost completed. We live in the Long Beach, California, area. Do I have to disclose my HIV+ status? Does my doctor have to report it? Please answer as soon as you can, or let me know who I should turn to. Thank you very much Gordon

Response from Ms. Breuer

To my knowledge, there is no requirement for you to disclose your status under these circumstances. I salute you and your partner for wanting to take responsibility for a child who needs nurturing, and I wish you a joyous household. You are required by law to disclose your status to sexual partners, and it's always best to disclose to health care providers so that they can take your meds into account. But foster care/adoption agencies? I believe not. To double-check, you could call the Long Beach Department of Public Health. I've worked with them on occasion, and they're quite knowledgeable about HIV. Don't pose your question to the person who picks up the phone unless you're convinced it's the right person. Ask for someone who can talk with you about HIV and disclosure in the foster care/adoption process. If someone tells you that you must disclose, ask the person to cite his/her source, and check the source to make sure the person is right. I'd be amazed if there is such a requirement.

There is no need to identify yourself by name in the call.



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