The widespread use of DNA tests is having positive effects for those who have been adopted. As well as establishing biological relationships to other persons tested, DNA tests can also prove valuable in providing answers to medical questions, otherwise unknown by adoptive families.
Understanding Your Genetic Roots
Keeping away from the nature vs nurture debate, it is proving to be of vital importance to know and understand your genetic makeup today. Regardless of the way a person has been raised, and by whom, at some point in your life most people wish to know where their biological roots lie, and in certain circumstances, it has even helped to save a life or provide the necessary answers to a medical puzzle.
For some people, it is a purely emotional need, to find their biological parents. Many adoptive children suffer from identity crises and feel a part of them is missing until they find their “real” families. In these cases, finding a biological parent or relative can address certain emotional issues.
For others, it can simply be for curiosity sakes; merely having access to information about their biological family being enough to satisfy their questions.
For medical cases, it can be extremely useful to have the genetic history of a person since it is now believed that many illnesses are passed down from parent to child and can therefore be identified in their early stages.
Searching for and reuniting with one’s biological family is a major event in a person’s life. It is therefore, extremely important to be accurate in your research. A DNA test is vital in bringing together family members separated by adoption. Before the 1980’s, it was very difficult to get any information on the biological families of adoptive children, and a lot of people relied on what little facts they had beforehand.
It is important when beginning any process involving finding family members, that you are properly informed and supported throughout. It is usually recommended to include your adoptive family in the process as they may feel alienated otherwise and they can also help in supporting you and helping you to prepare for any outcome. Sometimes the discovery of your biological parents will not be the answer to your problems.
In the UK, government legislation from 2005 now makes the anonymity of sperm donors a thing of the past, meaning that any child born after that date will now have access to information regarding their biological parents. This change has come about because it is now widely believed that rights of the child take precedence, and that every child has the right to know who their biological parent is.
In addition to discovering the identity of their biological families, adopted children can also learn about their family’s medical history. In this way they can inform and prepare themselves for any potential illnesses that may have been passed down through the genes of their biological families, thus making it easier for medical professionals to track down and spot certain illnesses, and in some cases even prevent.
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