When a child is placed for adoption, their life is put in danger if a complete medical history is not ascertained by the social workers or attorneys handling the adoption. The right questions need to be asked of both sides of the birth families and documented.
My medical history consisted of this:
"All family members were in good health as could be ascertained from the record."
Later in the file, the social worker admits that my father did not know about my conception, so there was obviously no investigation into my father's medical background.
However, my birth mother lived in one of the agency's maternity homes. There was plenty of time to gather information about her medical history. The agency failed to do this for me.
My birth mother was born with a hole in her heart and she had to have an extremely rare surgery when she was 5 years old. This information never made it in my file and/or was relayed to my parents.
In fact, no medical information at all was relayed to my parents, putting me (and them) at an extreme disadvantage every time I went to the doctor, hospital, when I carried my son, and even to this day.
I have been fortunate with my health; however ever since the death of Comedian Gilda Radnor in 1989 of ovarian cancer, I have had a very strong fear of ovarian cancer. I asked my doctor about getting a CA125 test but he didn't recommend that . . . too many false positives. I had good reason to fear this disease:
" the single greatest ovarian cancer risk factor is a family history of the disease."
My doctor and I decided to stay on top my pap smears and I began getting my mammograms at an early age since I did not know if my mother, sister, aunt or grandmother ever had breast or ovarian cancer.
I have tried to always be on top of any perceived health conditions, but I still worry that there is diabetes, heart and stroke on my father's side. When I finally got a little bit of health history from my birth mother at age 40, I almost didn't believe it. I was so used to knowing absolutely nothing about my health history, it didn't feel real to actually hear it. My doctor was quite shocked to get this information after all these years.
Anitra Talley :