Blogger Harlow’s Monkey discusses her being adopted, not knowing her biological family medical history and how that has affected her own daughter.
Sometimes, I think my unknown medical history is the most damaging feature of being adopted.
But of even greater concern is that I don’t know if I’m at risk for cardiac problems, diabetes, cancer, or mental health disorders.
This means also, that my children will also be unable to fill out the [√] on standard medical history forms, as we recently experienced when my kids had their yearly checkups.
Again, not knowing doesn’t just affect me. It also affects my children.
I kind of know what she means, though from the perspective of the child of an adoptee rather than as an adoptee myself. While I know at least some information about my mum’s family’s medical history, I know nothing about the medical history of my dad’s biological family. This especially becomes a problem when you start thinking about illnesses that can be hereditary – for example Crohn’s Disease, which my dad suffers from. He didn’t show symptoms of having it until he was well into his forties and without a family medical history to look at, I have no way of knowing whether or not I have a similar risk of finding myself suffering from the same problem. As far as I know, with Crohn’s Disease, there is no certainty that the children of a sufferer will also find themselves also afflicted (not a great word to use, but I can’t think of a better term) but there is a higher risk of them suffering from Crohn’s Disease.
If I knew more about my family medical history, then there might be some clues as to whether I have this to look forward to in twenty years time or if I can relax a bit and not worry quite so much. I guess it would be a bit easier for my dad to find out about his biological family and their medical history being adopted within a country rather than internationally like Harlow’s Monkey.