Knowledge about your family’s medical history is an important part
of addressing your own potential health hazards. A family medical history
can serve as a window into the genetic heritage of an individual.
Why is knowledge of your family medical history important?
If your dad had a heart attack before he turned 55 years old or your mom
had a heart attack before she turned 65 years old (or both) then you know
that you need to take extra care to focus on creating a heart healthy
life. It’s the easiest way to determine probable health problems
before they occur and early enough to do something about it.
If you are actively seeking information on the family medical history for your
adopted child, you’ll find that the search is similar to a jigsaw puzzle. You
might not ever find every piece to the puzzle, but you do your best to
find as many pieces as possible and respond appropriately.
It’s usually easiest to gather information in the United States about
your adopted child’s medical history before the adoption is completed
when you’re dealing with an
open, infant adoption. The most difficult situation is when dealing with a foster adoption that
resulted from severed ties with the birth parents. When dealing with international
adoptions, it’s important to consider the fact that some countries
involved keep almost nothing on the birth parents, but others maintain
very detailed records.
How to Put the Pieces of Your Adopted Child’s Medical History Together:
- When going through a domestic open adoption, your attorney or adoption
agency can collect this kind of information in advance of the adoption
as a means of preparing.
- Monitor the pregnancy carefully: learn about weight gain, ultrasounds,
glucose tolerance, drugs, smoking, etc.
- The child’s environment, both prenatal and postnatal is a critical
- At the time of the adoption, be inquisitive. Ask questions and construct
a “family tree” of sorts. Collect as much information as possible.
Use the trip to the hospital or court dates to fill in gaps and ask questions.
Find out about the birth mother, siblings, grandparents, etc.
- If it works in your situation, establish a connection with the birth family
in order to have the opportunity to seek additional information at a later
point in time. It’s easy to be so focused on the immediate concerns
of the child that you forget to ask about potential risks in adulthood,
i.e. heart disease, diabetes, etc.
The process of mapping out your adopted child’s family medical history
won't be an easy task, and some bits and pieces might never be found,
but what you do find, could make a big difference in your child’s health.
If you need assistance with the adoption process call the Arizona adoption
lawyers at Arizona Family Law Attorneys.