Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Genetic Code Mapping & The Adoptee

Back in 2006, I exchanged emails with my friend Johnny regarding the likelihood of our children reconnecting with their birth parents. Without going into detail, each child's specific abandonment circumstance, laws and culture in China make that task nearly insurmountable. Suffice it to say, while not impossible, the obstacles are incredibly daunting.
I expressed to Johnny my personal hope and opinion that China would one day establish a DNA network for those undertaking such a search. I continue to hold out hope that they will.

Which brings me to this recent radio program I want to share with all of you touched by adoption. To listen, select the 11:00 audio segment for National Institutes of Health Director, Dr. Francis Collins. Available in Real Player and Windows Media format.
One huge, justifiable concern of the adoptee is their inability to have sealed court records released, thus providing a pathway to discovering their family medical histories. Without going into a privacy and personal rights debate, lets just agree that an individuals family medical history is vitally important.
As it stands now, Alyzabeth's chances of finding the pathway to her family's medical history is directly linked to the difficulties in identifying her birth parents. Without the expressed approval and active support of the Chinese government in developing an adoption DNA bank, that chance will remain depressingly low.

So, void of information, how can we help Alyzabeth pull back the curtain on her own unique medical propensities? How may other adoptees peer behind their curtain?
The answer is through Genetic Code Mapping. Though Genetic Code Mapping can't magically reveal our children's birth parents, it does reveal the genome makeup passed on to our children. It's not hard to understand just how important that information is.
By way of example, think of the countless number of woman who make breast screening and surgical decisions based on known family medical histories. Alyzabeth does not know or have access to that history. Another example, men in my family have the unfortunate family trait of dying from a ruptured aorta aneurysm. Armed with this information, I know to ask for a regular screening.

I don't know what the future holds in finding AA's birth parents but I do know that we can gift Alyzabeth with her individual genetic code map today. As individual human genome mapping continues to advance and becomes more and more affordable (just pray insurance companies don't make it a pre-condition of coverage), AA's family medical history once thought to be lost forever, will now become hers.

As it should be...


a Tonggu Momma said...

Do you think there are any implications for life insurance in the long run? I only ask because I've heard of issues arising from the full body scans that people are doing. Now, I realize that knowing your medical history is so much more important than insurance premiums, but I wondered if you'd read anything on the topic.

Vivian M said...

What a wonderful gift that would be for AA. Kerri has faced so many challenges (which we were told were most likely genetic) that we wish we had access to that medical history so we could prepare and prevent, if possible.
On the other hand, it scares me that the information from the genetic code mapping could be used against her someday, like a "pre-existing condition" clause on health or life insurance.