For adoptees, the need for family medical history is important

Imagine going to the doctor in Harrisburg. As you wait for the nurse to take you back, you are asked to fill out certain forms. After getting through the insurance information, there is a form asking about medical history. Do you, a sibling, a parent or a grandparent have cancer? high blood pressure? heart disease? For most of us, these questions are relatively easy; we know our family medical history. For people who have been adopted, however, medical histories may be a mystery.

While there are countless positives that come with adopting a child or being adopted, there are some adoption challenges, as well. One of the biggest is access to birth parents’ medical records.

In some states, there are moves to make those birth records accessible to adults who were adopted. Though Pennsylvania does not currently have any legislation pending that would allow adults adopted as children to access important medical information about their birth parents, if the trend continues across the country, it may soon find its way here, too. As it is, this kind of legislation certainly has both its supporters and its critics.

For the most part, adoptions are times of celebration. They are the joining of people to create a family, but that doesn’t mean they are without their challenges and problems, too. While some people may think that they are able to figure out adoption on their own, this comes with a great risk. If something is done incorrectly, there is always the possibility that the state may try to take a child away from the only parents he or she has known. Working with an adoption attorney can help reduce that risk.

Source: The Advocate, “Adoption battle ends in stalemate,” Michelle Millhollon, May 14, 2014