Providing Family Medical History Is Important In Adoption

Posted on: 4 April 2017

If you are considering a closed adoption because you want the baby you are carrying to have more opportunities in life than you feel you are able to provide, it's a good idea to include a complete medical history as part of the adoption documentation. One of the reasons adoptees try to locate their biological parents is to learn their medical history. By providing this information up front, you can eliminate the possibility of being sought after in the future for medical history reasons. Here's what you need to know and how to gather the information. 

Why is family medical history so important? 

Knowing family medical history is crucial for some people. A family medial history can give clues to doctors regarding medical conditions that run in the family. Sometimes, it's easier for a diagnosis to be determined if the doctor is able to go through a medical history list to look for clues, particularly regarding genes and how they factor into the health of their patients. For example, Ehler's-Danlos syndrome is a genetic connective tissue disorder that is inherited. Without knowing the predisposition of the faulty genes that cause this syndrome, the doctor may have a difficult time coming up with a timely diagnosis for the condition. 

Who should be included in the family medical history record? 

Ideally, a complete family history record will include three generations of your relatives: yourself and your siblings, your parents and their siblings, your grandparents, and your cousins, nieces, and nephews. While it may seem overwhelming to gather all this information, you can use your medical records and the medical records of the other biological parent as starting points.

Where can you find most of the information? 

Your medical records from your childhood should contain most of the information you need. If you did not transfer your old medical records to your current physician's office, contact the offices you previously went to and ask if you can have a copy of your medical records. You will need to sign a release in order for the office to release the records to you or to your current physician. With a copy of your medical history in hand, block out the identifying information with a marker and run the papers through a copier machine. Alternatively, you can transfer the information to another medical history form. Your adoption service or current physician can provide you with a blank medical history form.