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Old 12-17-2012, 05:30 PM
 
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Mod Note: This thread was broken off from the "Should natural parents be notified..." thread, as the focus of discussion has turned to health issues.

Just because a small (and the fact is, most adoptions start out as open today) number of people want closed adoptions does not mean the industry should cater to them. Instead, it should be serving the needs of the children.

Knowing family medical history that could not have been known at adoption is a huge missing piece for many adoptees.

Many adoptees have no interest in a relationship with their birth parents. But medical information is something most would greatly appreciate. This info could also be mainted by such a group.

Last edited by Green Irish Eyes; 12-18-2012 at 07:52 PM..
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:14 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,601 posts, read 23,161,280 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiffjoy View Post
Just because a small (and the fact is, most adoptions start out as open today) number of people want closed adoptions does not mean the industry should cater to them. Instead, it should be serving the needs of the children.

Knowing family medical history that could not have been known at adoption is a huge missing piece for many adoptees.

Many adoptees have no interest in a relationship with their birth parents. But medical information is something most would greatly appreciate. This info could also be mainted by such a group.

The medical issue is so frequently exploited by those who are anti adoption or push for "only open".

And we disagree once more. Children are not the only people who count in life. Adults to as well. My daughter was adopted. She is not an adoptee. There is a difference.

Last edited by Green Irish Eyes; 12-18-2012 at 07:52 PM..
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
The medical issue is so frequently exploited by those who are anti adoption or push for "only open".
Not at all. Modern medicine can offer a great deal, but many issues tend to run in families. Closed records have impact on the health of adopted individuals and our children. This is not exploitation, just truth.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:25 PM
 
1,879 posts, read 1,857,654 times
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Originally Posted by adopteeWPD View Post
Not at all. Modern medicine can offer a great deal, but many issues tend to run in families. Closed records have impact on the health of adopted individuals and our children. This is not exploitation, just truth.
True.

Also, I work in the medical field and family history comes up all the time.

In regards to my own situation, if I ever have a heart attack, it is quite probable that I would be taken more seriously because of my biological family history of heart attacks. Females are often not taken seriously when it comes to heart attacks so having the family history helps.

In regards to women considering getting pregnant, if a women doesn't know her background, she might not realise she is possibly at risk for being a carrier for some diseases.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:58 PM
 
Location: New York State, USA
142 posts, read 211,438 times
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Originally Posted by susankate View Post
True.

Also, I work in the medical field and family history comes up all the time.

In regards to my own situation, if I ever have a heart attack, it is quite probable that I would be taken more seriously because of my biological family history of heart attacks. Females are often not taken seriously when it comes to heart attacks so having the family history helps.

In regards to women considering getting pregnant, if a women doesn't know her background, she might not realise she is possibly at risk for being a carrier for some diseases.
Just noting the words "biological family history." If it is okay to use these words, and I think it is, then I don't see why it is so difficult for some adoptive parents to recognize that they are not their child's only parents. I've been asked about "mother's family history" and "father's family history" and have been asked if "my sisters have breast cancer" or if "heart disease runs in my family". These words are used routinely by the medical profession. Whether or not adoptive parents like it, their adoptee alone will have to deal with these questions for the rest of their life. This is not a slam agaisnt the adotpive parents at all, this is medical reality. And yes, a person who is adopted is an adoptee, and any conversation with a medical doctor should be clear: "I cannot give you informaation because I do not know because I was adopted." An adotpee cannot give the medical family history of the adoptive parents and adoptive siblings.

And if an adoptee dies of an inherited medical condition, the natural parents and siblings need to know this, not only for their own feelings, but for the sake of health care, preparedness, and knowledge.
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by susankate View Post
In regards to women considering getting pregnant, if a women doesn't know her background, she might not realise she is possibly at risk for being a carrier for some diseases.
This family medical history that is seen as not needed by some here is VERY needed when it comes to giving proper medical care. Writing "Adopted--Don't Know" is a doctor's nightmare when a person is sick.

I was lucky not to lose both of my pregnancies, and if I had had proper family medical history could have had prophylactic anticoagulation. My sons are fortunate to be here; I am sad that they are here despite medical care, not because of it. And although we knew that I shared a congenital hematologic disorder that is common in my original mother's family, my adoptive parents weren't told quite how serious it was, or that I should have been followed by a hematologist from infancy. Oops. And I apparently inherited another coagulopathy from my original father, a serious one that has twice put me in the hospital on death's door. Now we know, and I am being treated. But this should never have been.

And when I found my original family, I learned that there was deep history of autoimmune disorders: my maternal grandfather had myasthenia gravis; his brother had early onset MS and died in his 50's; one of my original mother's cousins had serious lupus that killed him in his 40's; my mother has another transient autoimmune disorder. None of this was in the information given to my parents in 1969, but my MDs needed to know this. Very much so. To say that I do not deserve this information is insulting. It put me in jeopardy not to know this, and my MDs are much better able to help me now. It makes me feel more than a little frustrated to know only half my family medical history; we have only hit on the clotting disorder following testing after catastrophic problems; we know it's not from my original mother because of intensive testing my anxious physician half-brother has done.

Adoptees deserve, and should know, their complete family medical history, not as it was 20 years in the past, or 40 years in the past, but up-to-date. And no, genetic testing isn't a viable alternative: it's too expensive, for one, and not enough things can be tested for. Secrecy is the problem, and testing is not the solution.
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:14 PM
 
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Way too many OT little poison bombs dropped in this thread. So - instead of taking the bait and going off topic....

Open sharing of medical info should be a part of adoption taken for granted. If the possibility exists to do it, I find denying an adult access to their medical information unconscionable. Updates are potentially difficult, but I agree they are the right thing to do.
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Old 12-18-2012, 06:02 PM
 
1,879 posts, read 1,857,654 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MirrenC View Post
This family medical history that is seen as not needed by some here is VERY needed when it comes to giving proper medical care. Writing "Adopted--Don't Know" is a doctor's nightmare when a person is sick.

I was lucky not to lose both of my pregnancies, and if I had had proper family medical history could have had prophylactic anticoagulation. My sons are fortunate to be here; I am sad that they are here despite medical care, not because of it. And although we knew that I shared a congenital hematologic disorder that is common in my original mother's family, my adoptive parents weren't told quite how serious it was, or that I should have been followed by a hematologist from infancy. Oops. And I apparently inherited another coagulopathy from my original father, a serious one that has twice put me in the hospital on death's door. Now we know, and I am being treated. But this should never have been.

And when I found my original family, I learned that there was deep history of autoimmune disorders: my maternal grandfather had myasthenia gravis; his brother had early onset MS and died in his 50's; one of my original mother's cousins had serious lupus that killed him in his 40's; my mother has another transient autoimmune disorder. None of this was in the information given to my parents in 1969, but my MDs needed to know this. Very much so. To say that I do not deserve this information is insulting. It put me in jeopardy not to know this, and my MDs are much better able to help me now. It makes me feel more than a little frustrated to know only half my family medical history; we have only hit on the clotting disorder following testing after catastrophic problems; we know it's not from my original mother because of intensive testing my anxious physician half-brother has done.

Adoptees deserve, and should know, their complete family medical history, not as it was 20 years in the past, or 40 years in the past, but up-to-date. And no, genetic testing isn't a viable alternative: it's too expensive, for one, and not enough things can be tested for. Secrecy is the problem, and testing is not the solution.
Well said Mirren.

What people don't realise is that there are some diseases that are rarely diagnosed but are in fact relatively common and some people may die as a result of those diseases but no-one ever knows why they died. Often the diagnosis comes about because of family history with other people having died in similar ways.

And no, genetic testing isn't a viable alternative: it's too expensive, for one, and not enough things can be tested for.

Also, aren't some genetic tests only allowed to be claimed back through health insurance if there is family history that might indicate that a person is in danger of contracting a disorder/disease?

In regards to my own biological family history, my bmom's siblings had themselves tested for heart problems after their sister passed away and 3 of them now have pacemakers - it is possible that some of them might not have been alive now if they hadn't done that testing.

Last edited by susankate; 12-18-2012 at 06:17 PM..
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Old 12-18-2012, 06:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by susankate View Post
Also, aren't some genetic tests only allowed to be claimed back through health insurance if there is family history that might indicate that a person is in danger of contracting a disorder/disease?
Yes, in some cases. Insurance certainly isn't going to pay for blanket testing, and it really depends on the test and the condition. For some of the more rare, weird things, you have to be ill first, and then they will test; sometimes for the more expensive tests, they want family history to justify it for insurance purposes (and you might still be denied). I had to have expensive coagulation panels done, and they didn't do them until AFTER I clotted twice, dangerously. I told them I was adopted before the first surgery I had that ended up in a bad clot, but that wasn't enough reason to do the testing. They kept saying it was just "bad luck" until after the second one, and the testing, and then they said, "Oh, we could have prevented all this." Nice.

They say in medicine not to look for zebras, but to rule out horses first. But sometimes they are zebras, and if you have a family history of having zebras around, then you don't muck about thinking they're horses for too long, wasting time when someone might be seriously ill.

Last edited by MirrenC; 12-18-2012 at 06:27 PM.. Reason: clarity
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:23 PM
 
42 posts, read 38,947 times
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Plus, if you don't know your genetic medical history, you don't know you should even be testing for anything at all.
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