We designed this site in order to keep in touch with friends and family who are far away and in order to communicate with other adoptive families from around the world.

When we first started researching this wonderful way to become a family we read everything we could get our hands on. Even though there are a lot of great books out there, nothing was as informative or touching as the blogs we found by adoptees, biological parents, and adoptive families. So we are writing this blog now in hopes of returning the favor. We hope that if you are dear to us you will enjoy keeping up with our adventures. If you are someone out there involved in a part of the adoption triad we hope you will find information and comfort here and provide us with some of your own!

If you would like to get in touch with us we can be reached at:
Feel free to stop by anytime. We're happy to share our family story.

Take care,
Brian and Rosemary

Sunday, November 16, 2008

23 and Me

So Rosemary called me at work today telling me about something she saw on Oprah. There's a company called 23 and Me which has developed a take-at-home DNA test (recently selected as Time's Invention of the Year), which offers genetic analysis.  They take the saliva sample you send them and they run a full panel of genetic tests for $399. They can then assess your risk for diseases such as cystic fibrosis, colon cancer, and even depression and alcoholism. The company is run by two women who are geneticists.

As a doctor, I'm always a little skeptical about things like this, but they really do seem to have based their work on solid medical research. The other cool thing about it is that they automatically update your profile as new research comes out. So, for example, if they identify the gene for leukemia they will automatically run that test on your filed sample and update your profile with the results.

As adoptive parents, we've always regretted that we probably wouldn't be able to give our kids a full picture of their medical history.  No "my grandma has diabetes and my paternal uncle had a heart attack" to fill out on the form at the doctors office. While this may not seem
like a big deal to us we have the luxury of having this information.  Like so many things about adoption, we've found ourselves thinking about how important that family history would seem if we didn't know anything about it.  It's just one more thing about themselves that our children will not have a complete picture of.  And we feel that, if we can help him to have that knowledge, we absolutely should, both for medical and emotional reasons.

Another really interesting feature of this service is the ancestry research part.  They can determine a lot about your ethnic ancestry based on the DNA sample they take from you. Again, "your grandfather immigrated to Thailand from China" is something that we won't know to tell our child, but might be able to learn from this testing.  We've learned so much about how difficult an issue identity is for many adopted kids, especially those adopted internationally. Being able to arm them with some genetic information about themselves, even if it's only a little, seems worth any amount of money to us.  Rosemary, who is a worrier, is also relived to feel that this might be helpful if our kids were really ill.  

- Brian


Yoli said...

Brian I think it is great! Thank you for passing this along.

Yoli said...

Rosemary I did not know you resided in NYC. I am headed there for only a weekend but would love to get ideas from you. Email me

Emily said...

Sorry, I keep leaving you random posts in random places. I don't know how else to reach you! You found me out! I just started that random other design blog and haven't told anyone about it and then there you were. I didn't realize that my name was going to link up to it! So.. you are the first sleuth to find me out! Thanks for your comments though, it is more fun to write for an audience : )

love, Emily Paben

Mireille said...

I am going to check this site out, since we don't know if our twins are fraternal or identical, this would also give an answer ;-)
thanks for posting!!