Friday, July 27, 2007

How has lack of medical information effected YOU?

Doctors have always been pretty alarmed when it comes to my medical history. Yet oddly, there does not seem to be a great deal of support in the medical community when it comes to the medical history of adoptees.

My first experience was at 18 when a bleeding disorder was diagnosed during routine testing for an operation. The doctor was horrified to find out I had no medical history.

When my son was born, he was born with a birth defect of one of his lymph nodes. The doctors stated it was a genetic disorder. No one in his father’s side of the family has anything remotely similar, so it must have come from my side of the family. But I had to tell the doctors that I knew nothing.

I’ve endured early mammograms, and an early colonoscopy because I have no familiar history of either disease. People who aren’t adopted don’t realize that there are millions of us in similar situations. They will say, “Oh, medical history should be made available at the time of adoption”, but they don’t realize it isn’t. Also, that does nothing for the millions of adult adoptees whose adoptions are in the past. As another point, the medical history of a young woman surrendering her child has very little to do with what medical situations may come decades in the future.

Many states have confidential medical history registries, but these are not publicized and are difficult to find. If you don’t know such a registry exists, how will you register for it?

The U.S. Surgeon General has Family History Initiative. But unfortunately the Americans this does not apply to are adopted Americans. Adult adoptees pay taxes the same way nonadopted Americans do, but our civil rights continue to be violated by state governments and outdated laws that treat us as perpetual children.

My dear friend AdopteeWarrior is taking the time to publish a series of Public Service Announcements on YouTube regarding this and other important issues facing adoptees. Could you please take a moment to visit her latest video, and leave a text or video comment on your own experiences with medical history?

Not just adoptees! Adoption effects so many people -

Natural parents - have you been diagnosed with a medical condition and been unable to get this information to the child you surrendered?

Adoptive parents - how has your child's lack of full and updated medical history effected you? How much do you trust what your agency provided you?

Spouses of adoptees - do you have children, or are you planning on having children? How concerned are you regarding your own child's lack of medical history?

Siblings of adoptees - What medical conditions have members of your family experienced that you have been unable to share with your adopted sibling?

Please share your story at YouTube!

Comments are off for this post - your voice needs to be heard at YouTube. Comments or video replies deeply appreciated! And please spread the word! Thank you so much.

For more information, please see Death by Adoption

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