Category Archives: universal healthcare

Adoptees Need Their Medical Histories

My son once told me that being adopted was like being in the Witness Protection Program–but without access to family medical history. With all the debate about healthcare swirling around us, I find myself thinking about healthcare and adoption. I most definitely want reasonably priced healthcare for all Americans. BUT adoptees need more than that–which is to say they need what those of us familiar with our biological families have. Our medical histories.
I know what my grandparents died of…and my father. I know that my mother has high blood pressure and that quite a few people in my family have circulatory issues (Maybe from smoking.) I know that despite the fact that most of us are as pale as the underbelly of an eyeless sea-creature, no one has contracted skin cancer. And that while we can eat pretty much anything, I know we’ve got one member with severe wheat allergies and issues with dairy. Another is allergic to dessert pollens and olive trees. Curvature of the spine is a big issue. Maybe hip degeneration. Imagine not knowing those things about yourself. And when adoptive parents hold that baby in their arms, don’t THEY want to know? ┬áMy maternal grandmother was allergic to penicillin and Novocain. One of my three children has that penicillin allergy and it can be life threatening. How can parents rest easily without knowing? For many, many adoptees, the information is available. Unsealing adoption records would make it accessible.

Adoption and Universal Healthcare

I spent a month in France recently and had a few discussions with French acquaintances about the health care debate currently raging in the U.S. It got me thinking.

What if a woman who was considering relinquishing a child for adoption could rest assured that her child would have cradle to the grave health coverage?
It seems that in this day and age when shame and sin play a lesser role in the decision making process of many birthmothers, it might be healthcare–or the prospect of raising a child without it–that pushes one toward adoption.
And if we had universal healthcare, covering a birthmom’s maternity expenses could no longer be part of the currency of adoption.
And let’s go a step further into the world of socialist governments. Education would be free–including the university. There’s goes the argument for giving up your child to provide him or her better opportunities.
A playing field that level could change a lot of things. Not everything for everyone, of course. But for many, I’d guess.