Health and Heredity
Over 4,000 diseases are caused by single defective genes. Missing and sketchy health histories put adopted persons at risk, particularly as they age and need to know the risk factors for common killers such as cancer and heart diseases.
"Morally, there is no family, and no person planning to have a child who can ignore the new genetic discoveries and techniques for preventing genetic disease. Your health and welfare and that of your (future) children are at stake. We all have a right and, indeed, an obligation to know about our particular genes and to consider the options available that increase our chances of having healthy children. We should also all have the freedom to exercise these options as we wish and as rationally as we are able."
"Knowing your family's health history can save your life," said Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. "By having the information readily available, doctors can more closely monitor a person's health for common diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, or even rare disorders like sickle cell anemia or hemophilia, that can run in families."
– Aubrey Milunsky, M.D.
Source: Heredity and Your Family’s Health, Aubrey Milunsky, M.D., 1992. The Johns Hopkins University Press.