To Know or Not to Know
Every day children are born to women give birth to children that they have to give up for adoption for one reason or another. This reason usually plays an important role that determines whether the biological parent(s) want to stay in contact with the child and to be a part of his/her life. Although this reason may be very significant to the biological parents, it will most likely mean nothing to the child. Adopted children have the right to know the identities of their birth parents. Many practical reasons play a part in my argument, some of which include the knowledge of their medical histories, curiosity of his or her identity, and the need to belong.
Researchers, Kowal and Schilling reported that 75% of individuals studied were looking for their medical history either for themselves or for the sake of their children (Adamec, 2004). Knowing if cancer, diabetes, genetic disorders, heart disease, etc., played a role in their biological parent’s lives could save their own life in the future. “Former U. S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona has testified to Congress in support of family history initiatives and the importance of family medical history in preventing and diagnosing disease” (Clough, 2007). Genetic disorders can be passed on to future generations, which could affect the adoptee’s rights to have children. For these reasons alone, adoptive children should have access to the knowledge about their medical history.
Kowal and Schilling also reported that more than 50% of adoptees wanted information about their identity and their roots (Adamec, 2004). Everyone wants to know who they are and where they are from. This type of information fulfills the need to belong or feel a part of something or someone. Wondering about physical similarities, such as do I resemble anyone in my birth family, do I have brothers or sisters, or where did I get my curly red hair from is some of the information that adoptee want to know? Knowing whether the adoptee has siblings may be in
To Know or 3
fact one of the most important types of information available. In 2008, one of the most shocking stories was broke to the world by newscasters in the United Kingdom. “Twins who were separated at birth and married each other without realizing they were brother and sister was revealed today”, says Fiona Barton of Mail Online (Barton, 2008). The marriage was annulled by a judge of the...