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

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.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    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).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Kalia, S. S. et al. Recommendations for reporting of secondary findings in clinical exome and genome sequencing, 2016 update (ACMG SFv2.0): a policy statement of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics. Genet. Med. 19, 249–255 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

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

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    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).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    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).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

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

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

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

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Thomas May.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

May, T. The value of genetic testing for family health history of adopted persons. Nat Rev Genet 20, 65–66 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41576-018-0080-4

Download citation

Further reading