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Filling in the Gaps in Your Health History When You’re Adopted



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Expecting a child is often a celebrated occasion, but there are times when an individual can’t care for their child. They may be young and lack the financial resources needed to care for a child. Some parents face other life challenges, such as health issues or legal problems.

When parents aren’t able to raise their child, they may give the child up for adoption. Adoption Network estimates there are approximately 135,000 adoptions in the United States each year, including stepparent adoptions, infant adoptions, international adoptions, and adoptions of children in foster care. While adoption offers children an opportunity to become part of a loving family, adopted children may have questions about their ancestry and their family’s medical history. Let’s explore how adopted children can fill in the gaps in their medical history and why adopted children benefit from learning about their family’s medical history.

Research Options

You can start your family history research with your birth certificate. Your birth certificate lists your place of birth, enabling you to research births occurring at your birth hospital on the day you were born.

You can access information via the internet. People search sites, such as True People Search, provide personal information available in public records. You can enter your parents’ names into the site’s search bar if you know your biological parents’ names. The search results will include arrest records, property records, past addresses, and social media profiles. They may also reveal their phone numbers, email addresses, and current addresses, enabling you to contact your biological parents.

You can hire a private investigator to find information about your biological parents if you don’t want to do the legwork yourself. This is a good option if you don’t know the names of your birth parents. An investigator can talk to hospital staff and other patients giving birth, enabling them to discover the identity of one or both parents.

You may be able to contact your birth parents through the adoption agency or apply to have your adoption records unsealed. A judge may unseal your records if you have medical reasons to seek health information.

Taking a DNA test to research your ancestry can also shed light on your biological family. People sometimes buy DNA kits to learn about their genealogy and complete their family tree. If you’re adopted, you may discover biological relatives and use that information to identify their parents or siblings.

Research Benefits

The World Health Organization reports that there are 55 million people around the globe suffering from dementia. Frontotemporal dementia, Lewy body dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease are all forms of dementia. While the Alzheimer’s foundation searches for a cure, it also highlights treatments that slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, such as therapeutic activities and dietary changes. Although age is a primary risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s, anyone with a sibling or parent with Alzheimer’s is more likely to get this disease.

Genetic disorders affect 5.8 percent of the population, and DNA passed on from your parents can increase your risk of suffering migraines, heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. Many insurance companies require patients to provide a medical history and identify health issues experienced by parents or other immediate family members. Your biological health history may also be relevant if you have an ill child and doctors need more medical information to confirm a diagnosis.

Learning about your family health history doesn’t have to involve direct communication with your parents or other siblings. You can opt to submit a request through your adoption agency and only request health information. This option allows you to access the health information you need without pursuing a relationship if you aren’t ready to do so.

If you’re adopted, you may wonder about your biological family and have concerns about potential health risks. People search sites are excellent tools for locating individuals. You may also contact your adoption agency to learn about your biological health history.

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