Friday, December 13, 2013

Genetic DNA Testing During the Adoption Process

Obtaining genetic DNA tests for your adopted child can be an important and useful way to get insights into potential diseases and challenges your adopted child will face before they occur. Genetic screening tests are also a great way to find out more about a child's genealogy beyond what you will receive in their medical records.

What You'll Find Out through a Home Genetic Test of Your Adopted Child

Hidden in every human's DNA are secrets about history and future health. When you bring a genetic test home and submit your cheek swabs for analysis, you're embarking on a trip through both the past and the future as you discover things like inherited characteristics, ancestry, and potential future health concerns.

As an adoptive parent, you are responsible for preparing for your adopted child's future, including their mental and physical wellbeing. However, depending on the type of adoption process you went through when preparing to bring your adopted child home, you may have been provided very little information about the health and wellbeing of both of their birth parents. In some cases, birth parents are reluctant to answer health questions honestly out of concern that by doing so their child will be less likely to be adopted.

A genetic screening test is a reliable way to obtain a much more comprehensive medical history for your child. There are many genetic diseases you can identify with DNA testing so that you can adequately prepare for any future challenges you may face as adoptive parents. Consider, for instance, what you would do if your adopted child suddenly developed leukemia and needed a bone marrow transplant. Or what if they became very ill because of kidney failure? In either case, registering your child's DNA history with a genetic information bank today may prove to be important for saving your child's life in the future. Other family members and potential genetic matches may be found long before you ever require the life-saving donation of marrow or a kidney.

The types of diseases you can identify with a genetic screening tests include things such as:

  • Cancer

  • Diabetes

  • Mental illness including depression

Yet beyond life-threatening diseases, genetic DNA testing can help you create a healthy lifestyle tailored to your child's unique health requirements. For instance, if diabetes is a higher risk for your adopted child, you can help prevent development of the disease by ensuring your child eats a healthy, low glycemic index diet, gets regular exercise, and receives medical check-ups that include glucose monitoring and other diagnostic tests for early detection of the onset of diabetes. Knowing this information will also aid the child in making responsible choices in lifestyle and diet as an adult, which can help to prevent diabetes from occurring in the first place.

The important thing to remember is not to allow any results received from a home genetic test to define the identity of your adopted child. In other words, don't allow anxiety about potential health concerns to rule the life of your adopted child. Ensure that you use the information responsibly without creating undue stress and creating unnecessary restrictions for your child.

Home Genetic Test Results for Reuniting Family Members with Your Adopted Child in the Future

Completing a DNA ancestry test with your adopted child may be a way to increase your bond with him or her if you complete the test together. Consider this: all humans originate from the same two human parents going back millions of generations. It may be a fun and interesting experiment for you and your adopted child to both obtain DNA ancestry testing to find out if perhaps you have similar ancestral roots. You never know - you may discover that your ancestors all originated from Asia or Australia. This may be a great way to improve your connectedness to your adopted child.

Completing a genetic DNA test for your adopted child can also be a great way for you to preserve information about their biological parents, grandparents, and other relatives. More and more, adoption agencies and DNA testing facilities are working together to help adopted children locate and reunite with their biological family members. Completing a home genetic test when your child is small is a great way to collect and store the information about their family so that when the inevitable questions about family history arise, you can provide them with the information they seek.

So as you go down the road in your journey with your adopted child, consider how genetic DNA testing may enhance your lives both today and in the future. It's an informative and practical expedition into the world of human health and history you won't want to miss!

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