Genetic Testing Adoption Adopted Children

Adopting a child is a commitment to love and care for a child who doesn’t share your DNA. As a caring adoptive parent, you will want to provide your adopted child with everything you would a biological child. However, when adopting, you’re at a disadvantage when it comes to knowing your adopted child’s medical history.

Genetic testing can provide insight into potential genetic diseases that are not indicated in a child’s medical records. A DNA ancestry test can also provide insight to an adopted child’s genetic genealogy, or family tree.

The Purpose of Genetic Testing

DNA holds information about one’s health, inherited characteristics, and genetic genealogy. For adopted children and their parents, genetic testing can provide:

  • identity, so the adopted child can know his biological family in the future if it becomes important to him; it can also give him insight into his ancestral roots
  • medical history, such as information on potential illnesses and health concerns
  • peace of mind, to forewarn parents about potential genetic problems.

Many adoption agencies are beginning to require that adopted children undergo DNA testing with their birth parents. This provides a comprehensive, reliable medical history for the child. Additionally, in countries where children are sold on the black market, genetic testing ensures that the person or couple putting a child up for adoption are the actual birth parents and that they weren’t coerced into giving up the child.

Genetic Diseases and Your Adopted Child

If your child’s biological parents provided their medical history before adoption, you may think you have everything you need to know. However, some parents fear that including a medical history might keep their child from getting adopted. Other parents are still young and have yet to show signs medical problems that develop in adulthood. If biological parents have not developed a genetic disease, they may not know that they have a genetic mutation that they passed on to their child.

Your responsibility as an adoptive parent is to prepare for your child’s future. Genetic testing can help you prepare, and can tell you if your child is predisposed to a number of diseases, including:

  • cancer
  • depression
  • diabetes
  • other mental illnesses
  • other physical illnesses.

DNA Ancestry Tests and Genetic Genealogy

A DNA ancestry test can provide a background on rare diseases caused by different dominant and recessive genes. It can also provide a link to a family member who can provide knowledge about potential problems, or even a bone marrow or kidney match if your child becomes ill.

A DNA ancestry test can also give adopted children invaluable information about their heritage. Knowing about their roots may help them to develop strong feelings of identity, which is important for children as they mature.

Genetic screening can prepare you and your child for the future so you can learn about preventive measures that will keep your child healthy. A DNA ancestry test can also provide your child with invaluable information about his identity and his roots. The effects of test results can benefit an adopted child throughout his entire life, from birth to when he decides to start a family of his own.

Resources

DNA Junction. (n.d.). Uses of DNA testing in adoption cases. Retrieved November 28, 2008, from the DNA Junction Web site: http://www.dnajunction.com/uses/dna-testing-adoption.php.

Jenista, J. A. (2008). Why you need your adopted child’s history. Retrieved November 28, 2008, from the BabyCenter Web site: http://www.babycenter.com/0_why-you-need-your-adopted-childs-medical-history_1374184.bc.

McCarney, P. (n.d.). Importance of medical history of adopted children. Retrieved November 28, 2008, from the Helium Web site: http://www.helium.com/items/1187171-the-vital-importance-of-an-adopted-childs-medical-history?page=2.

Stacy, M. (2004).Using DNA to reunite adoptees, parents. Retrieved November 28, 2008, from the MSNBC.com Web site: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5774567/.