A-Z Glossary

Many adoption, foster care and child welfare vocabulary are subject to interpretation. This glossary identifies commonly held definitions for terminology that can be found in the field. It defines common acronyms and provides comprehensive definitions for a broad range of terms. The glossary will be updated as new terminology emerges in the field and as new legislation is enacted.

A-Z Glossary – Choose a Letter

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There are 5 names in this directory beginning with the letter H.
Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption
A multinational agreement developed at the beginning of this decade designed to promote the development of institutional structures for the supervision of adoption and to open lines of communication between sending and receiving countries. The United States has ratified this convention and has implemented it on April 1, 2008. Only Hague Accredited adoption agencies can send or receive children with other Hague Signatory countries. If the sending country is not a Hague Signatory country, a non-Hague Accredited agency may still operate in that country.

Heroin Abuse
Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive drug. It is both the most abused and the most rapidly acting of the opiate family. Heroin is processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seedpod of certain varieties of poppy plants. It is typically sold as a white or brownish powder or as a black sticky substance known on the streets as "black tar heroin." Although purer heroin is becoming more common, most street heroin is "cut" with other drugs or with substances such as sugar, starch, powdered milk, or quinine. Street heroin also can be cut with strychnine or other poisons. Because heroin abusers do not know the actual strength of the drug or its true contents, they are at risk of overdose or death. Heroin also poses special problems because of the transmission of HIV and other diseases that can occur from sharing needles or other injection equipment. A child born to a woman who has abused Heroin or Methadone a synthetic analgesic drug that is used as a substitute to treat heroin or morphine addiction) is typically treated after birth with medications to reduce the affects of withdrawal.

HIV
HIV / Human Immunodeficiency Virus can be spread via infected blood and from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. HIV can damage the immune system interfering with the body's ability to fight organisms that cause diseases. It can take many years before HIV can weaken ones immune system converting the diagnosis to AIDS. Today in the U.S. the research for a cure has made dramatic positive leaps and there are medications that have shown to slow the onset or progression of he disease. Unfortunately in many underdeveloped countries, HIV/AIDS continues to be an epidemic.

HIV Positive
The Term HIV Positive /HIV+ means having a positive reaction on a test for the human immunodeficiency virus which is used to indicate if an individual has been infected with the human immunodeficiency virus but does not yet have AIDS. Persons who are HIV+ require counseling, information regarding transmission of the virus, and close supervision of their health status. In the United States it is rare that their status will convert to an AIDS diagnosis due to the many medical breakthroughs we have had.

Home Study
A study of the home of prospective adoptive parents, completed prior to placement of a child in their home, validates suitability to adopt for the courts.


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