Comment | Published:

The value of genetic testing for family health history of adopted persons

Nature Reviews Geneticsvolume 20pages6566 (2019) | Download Citation

The lack of family health history experienced by most adopted persons can represent a marked disadvantage for these individuals. Genetic testing has the potential to reliably and usefully fill informational gaps, but considerable challenges need to be addressed to assemble an economic case for affordability.

Lack of family health history experienced by most adopted persons can represent a marked disadvantage. This Comment discusses the role of genetic testing in filling this informational gap and the challenges that need to be overcome.

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References

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    May, T. et al. Does lack of ‘genetic relative family health history’ represent a potentially avoidable health disparity for adoptees? Am. J. Bioeth. 16, 33–38 (2016).

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    May, T. et al. Can targeted genetic testing offer useful health information to adoptees? Genet. Med. 17, 533–535 (2015).

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    May, T. & Evans, J. P. Addressing perceived economic obstacles to genetic testing as a way to mitigate disparities in family health history for adoptees. Health Econ. Policy Law https://doi.org/10.1017/S1744133118000488 (2018).

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    May, T., Lee, R. M. & Evans, J. P. Healthcare challenges faced by adopted persons lacking family health history information. Narrat. Inq. Bioeth. 8, 103–106 (2018).

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    May, T. & Grotevant, H. Autonomy, well-being, and the value of genetic testing for adopted persons. HEC Forum 30, 283–295 (2018).

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Acknowledgements

The author thanks K. A. Strong, J. P. Evans, H. Grotevant, R. M. Lee and K. L. Zusevics for supporting the Genomic Family History for Adopted Persons project since its very early days, and continuing to the present. Their influence is reflected in the core ideas articulated here.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA, USA

    • Thomas May
  2. Ethics and Genomics Program, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Huntsville, AL, USA

    • Thomas May
  3. Institute for Aging, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA

    • Thomas May

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Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Thomas May.

About this article

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41576-018-0080-4

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