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adoptee blank medical chart

Another Reason Open Adoption Works for My Children & Me

no medical history in adoptionMy childhood friend Juli tells me that one of the worst things about being adopted is going to the doctor. The nurse always asks about her health history, including her parents’ health history, to see what kind of risks to watch out for.

She draws a blank. Each and every time. She has no clue if the experiences she’s had with her body and mind are rooted in her genetic makeup.


A friend had some bad news recently: her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer  (caught early; the prognosis is good).


So what does this have to do with open adoption? My children will know.

Tessa will be able to ask Crystal at what age she started her period  — did you know that before age 12 is a risk factor? She’ll know if and where cancer may occur in her genetic line.

Reed will have access to heart and lung, skin and kidney, prostate and stomach history and everything else. And if he ever has a daughter (or a son), he’ll be able to tell about the presence or absence of breast cancer in his genetic line.

adoptee blank medical chart

I want my children to have dynamic information about the health of the people whose DNA they carry — not static information about the health of their birth parents at age 20. Open adoption enables Tessa and Reed to know over time what goes on with their birth relatives, clues to  what their own medical puzzle may look like.

What my friend Juli wouldn’t give for that.

Image by OpenClipart [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Lori Holden, mom of a young adult daughter and a young adult son, writes from Denver. She was honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Find Lori’s books on her Amazon Author page, and catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.

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4 Responses

  1. I can certainly appreciate the importance of knowing these things.Thanks for stopping by my blog. I’ve actually been a bit of a lurker at yours lately (sorry for not commenting *chagrined face*).It was really helpful to read about your adoption experiences and your business regarding profiles. I will definitely be keeping that in mind in the future!

  2. So true. B has been able to find out some info about his firstmom because of finding her online. It doesn’t sound good. Everyone dies early in her family, but we don’t know details. I’m hoping his bio father has some healthy genes that dominate.

  3. Genetic information is so helpful in understanding the predisposition for disease. So glad your children will have that information available to them…P.S. Thanks for the great comment today. Brought a big smile to my face.

  4. PJ, I’m so glad I got to celebrate such a milestone with you!Furrow, I always appreciate your husband’s viewpoint. I’d be interested in more info on their reunion (if there has been one).Amy, thanks for delurking! I love it when you comment, especially when you say such kind things. 🙂

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