Should prospective adoptive parents be able to request and receive genetic information regarding the infant they are considering prior to adoption?
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The primary aim of the adoption process is to ensure that the children move into a safe and loving environment. The parents are expected to cater to the adopted kid’s varied needs and nurture them to the best of their abilities. In return, the adopting parents enjoy a self-fulfilled dream of raising a child, having a family, and building meaningful relationships. Realizing such benefits requires that the parents accept all the hardships that come with raising a child. Therefore, the guardians should be limited on the genetic information they request before, during, and after the adoption process.
Requesting genetic information has some significant repercussions on how the prospective parents perceive the child. First, if the child has some harmful genetic predisposition or characteristics, there is a high chance the kid will not be adopted. Therefore, every person qualified to adopt should consider giving every child an opportunity without discriminating against how they look or their genetic features. In doing so, the guardians would raise the child as if it was theirs, without the influence of finding genetic information.
There are situations where genetic information is necessary for the child’s wellbeing. Therefore, the genetic information adopting parents request and receive should be consistent with the tests carried out on all children. That is, the tests are not primarily subjected to a child under the adoption process. This genetic information should be performed to assess prevention strategies or diagnoses. Furthermore, genetic data should be conducted for treatable or preventative conditions. This concludes that parents should not get information for genetic variations that focus on the behavioral, mental, or physical traits of a child. Such details would lead to preferential treatment of certain children at the expense of others.
Should adoption agencies be pro-active in providing the results of these tests for prospective parents?
Adoption is a lifetime commitment that prospective parents need to consider before undertaking such responsibilities. In addition, most guardians looking to adopt a child have no prior knowledge about the child’s history. Therefore, the adoption agencies must provide more information to the potential parents. There should be guidelines of what the agencies should share with the prospective guardians about a child. For instance, they should offer details regarding a child’s family health history and medical history. Such information can help the parents make necessary arrangements for the kid’s wellbeing. For example, agencies can explain the medications or vaccinations a child has received and what the parents need to do to ensure it remains healthy. Agencies should not be mandated to perform compulsory genetic tests, but should they have genetic tests results obtained from any means, they should not conceal them from the prospective parents.
Primarily, the adoption agencies have a duty towards the child’s wellbeing and prospective parents. That is, an agency should gather all relevant information about a child to avoid being sued for wrongful adoption. Therefore, there are instances that agencies need to perform genetic testing that would be primarily conducted on all other children. Some tests would enable the prospective parents to be mentally, emotionally, and financially prepared to handle the child’s needs. For instance, there are cases where newborn screening is conducted to examine specific metabolic and genetic abnormalities. The agencies can provide results from such tests for the potential parents to begin administering treatment right away. Nonetheless, the emphasis should be that agencies can only disclose what they know about a child.
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