Implication of Adoption for future generations

Generational impacts of adoption – Harlow’s Monkey

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.

Personal data: Knowing who has yours

I just read an interview by TechDigest with one of the founders of Egg, the internet bank. It discusses the subject of who might have your personal data – things like your address, date of birth and name as well as other data that might be held by various companies.
In Britain, the Data Protection Act allows you to ask any company for the data they have on you and they have to respond to your request within 40 days. Tom Ilube, one of the founders of new company garlik, says “We decided to create a large-scale consumer-facing company that will help people understand what’s out there about them and how to manage it.” According to TechDigest:

Initially, this will boil down to a service that rounds up all the publicly-accessible data on a person, including their credit file, but also the records kept by private companies.

This all strikes me as very useful. I’m only 22 and just out of university, but I’ve been hanging out online for about 7 years and in that time I’ve done a fair amount of buying stuff online and signing up for websites and things. Not only that, but I shop in regular stores too! Now, I don’t have a credit card because I’m not yet entirely comfortable with spending money that I don’t already have – but I’m sure various companies must have information on me from my limited dealings with banks and building societies. Add to that various competitions I’ve entered over the years and there could be loads of companies that have my personal data, even though I tick the boxes that say that my information can’t be passed on to other companies. It’s all very interesting and I’m curious to see who might have data about me.

The Daily Mail weighs in on MySpace

How paedophiles prey on MySpace children

It’s difficult to know what to say to the Daily Mail’s usual reaction to anything that could indicate change or newness (the “OMG WE MUST STOP IT” reaction). So mostly, I’m just going to go through some of the article and comment on it.

The experiences of Alice and Lucy should send a chill down the spines of parents across Britain. Got a teenage child? Then it’s more than likely that over the weekend they will be using one of these so-called social networking sites, be it MySpace, Bebo, Friendster or one of many others.

Probably MySpace actually. The rest of them haven’t taken off in the same way as MySpace, which has also been embraced by various corporations, media outlets and musicians as a way to pimp themselves out.

Continue reading “The Daily Mail weighs in on MySpace”

Digital TV switchover

Digital switchover a mystery to many:

Analogue TV signals will start to be switched off in two years’ time, but a third of UK TV viewers are still unaware of the switchover.

A survey by Digital UK found that awareness has grown by 13 per cent since the launch of the Digit Al campaign, voiced by Little Britain star Matt Lucas.

But that still leaves one-third of people who have not heard about the digital switchover.

Perhaps surprisingly, awareness is highest among the 65-74 age group, and lowest among 16-24-year-olds, fewer than half of whom know about the switchover.

Could it be that the 16 to 24 age group watches the least tv and this is why they don’t know about the switchover? I know certainly that I (and I happen to fall in this particular age group) don’t watch anywhere near the amount of television I did ten years ago. It’s a combination of getting some sort of life, the internet being more interesting and television getting more rubbish. Every couple of days, I check out the tv guide to see if there’s anything I want to watch on. Generally, it boils down to “Is Doctor Who or programmes of a similar genre on?” or “Is a film I want to see on?”. And usually the answer is no.

Especially when the alternative is cheap dvds from, catching up with friends, fiddling with my websites (somehow I have accumulated a vast number) or reading a book (something that I somehow seem not to have as much time to do now). It’s not as if I download things to watch either – all I have downloaded is the entire series of Space:Above and Beyond which I’ve not been able to find on dvd and some episodes of Doctor Who, that I’ve already watched on tv and am waiting for cheaply priced dvds of.

So… I’ve not seen much of the tv advertising of this switchover… and I’ve not seen much in the way of other kinds of advertisements.

Another thing about this age group is that most of them could well be bogged down in exam and studying hell. At 16 I was doing my GCSES, at 17 AS-levels, 18 was A-levels and from then till just recently, my life was a marsh of university work and exam cramming. They have different priorities. Going out and seeing your mates rates far more highly than staying in and watch telly. On the other hand, the 65 to 74 age group could well be the group that stuck inside and have tv as a large source of contact with the outside world (I am being a bit pessimistic here). Faced with the loss of the primary source of entertainment and information, I think I would probably find out more about what was going on and how I could deal with it.

Eventually, I suppose, I’ll do something about sorting out Freeview for the house. However, there’s no urgency to it.

Blogging and working

How to blog – and keep your job

After reading that article, I started thinking about all the various bloggers who got sacked after their employers found out about their blogs.

How hard could it be to make sure that you didn’t mention your work? Or if you were talking about your work, not to mention names and place or any identifying features?

I don’t know. I’ve not yet been in the position where I’d be blogging about work. I don’t write about topics that I don’t want the world and her dog knowing about in any of my blogs (are blogs and livejournals the same thing?), and any vaguely sensitive topics… say pictures of my family (especially the younger members)… would go in a friends-locked livejournal post. That way, the audience is limited to a smaller group of people I don’t expect to be sharing the content with all and sundry.

So when I finally get some kind of job, or temping work, I guess I’ll get the chance to find out.

US government charges evacuees

According to a reader of Andrew Sullivan’s The Daily Dish, the US government is charging it’s citizens in Lebanon for the priviliege of being removed from that country and being left in Cyprus. Where they’ll have to sort out their own accomodation and flights back to the US.

Nice of them isn’t it. To be so concerned about their citizens that they are offering to remove them from a war zone for a FEE. Not like all those other governments who are already getting their citizens out for free.

Doctor Who’s next assistant named

Newcomer Freema Agyeman is to take over from Billie Piper in the third series of Doctor Who, it has been revealed.
Agyeman, 27, will play Martha Jones in the next run of the drama, due to start filming in Cardiff this summer.


I have to say, that I’m pretty excited about this new companion and at the prospect of next Christmas’ episode having no companion at all. Maybe Captain Jack will make an appearance…

Telephone bracelet for Alzheimer’s sufferers

A telephone bracelet has been developed by Orange and Medical Mobile for Alzheimer’s sufferers in France. It seems to be basically a watch containing GPS and mobile phone technology that keeps track of the patient and alerts the relevant people when they wander out of where they’re supposed to be – a bit similar to a system implemented in a nursing home that I read about except this would allow the patient out of a nursing home and down to a local shop perhaps rather than just confining them to the home. Plus there’s the added bonus of being able to talk to the person through the bracelet rather than having to peg it to wherever they are.

This is a really cool idea and could probably be used not just for Alzheimer’s patients, but for any vunerable person who might get confused and disoriented when out and about.

Via Popgadget

Billie Piper to leave Doctor Who

Billie Piper to leave Doctor Who

I’m probably part of a minority when I say that I’m kind of glad that Billie is leaving. At least amongst the newer Doctor Who fans. It just seems to me that her character, Rose, makes the Doctor stupider somehow. Which is random and crazy and stuff.

I guess it doesn’t help that, for a while at least, Rose was Russell T. Davies’ Mary Sue.

Miss Army Kit

swiss army knife

This is the greatest most girly knife in the history of the world ever and I want one.

“Pink, chic and looking like something Penelope Pitstop might keep in her pocket, Miss Army Kit contains everything you need to solve everyday emergencies, including nail file, tweezers, needle and thread, mirror, torch, scissors, corkscrew, perfume bottle, pill box, mini knife, bottle opener, ruler and pen. Try carrying that lot around separately!”

Aside from the corkscrew (though I suppose I could stab people with it), those are all handy little things that I would use fairly regularly. I may just have to buy one. 😀