Adoptees lobby for more access to medical history
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Adoptees lobby for more access to medical history

Date: January 25, 2012
By: Mark Hodges
State Capitol Bureau
Links: HB 1137 and SB 351

Intro: 
Adoptees testified Wednesday about the importance of having medical history from their biological parents.
RunTime:  0:45
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Those adoptees say important medical information is currently difficult to obtain.

A new bill would let parents release medical history and a full birth certificate to the child after turning 18.

In a House Judiciary Committee hearing, Carolyn Pooler said her cancer treatment would be easier if she had the health history of her birth parents.

Actuality:  POOLER.WAV
Run Time:  00:15
Description: "Let me tell you, that is a terrible decision for a woman to have to make, sitting here with an uncomfortable cancer, and I can't get genetic information. That's horrid."

On the other side, a couple representatives say they're concerned about parents' privacy.

No action has been taken on the bill.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Mark Hodges.

Intro: 
Three adoptees told a committee at the state Capitol that getting accurate medical history is breaking the bank.
RunTime:  0:45
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Those adoptees testified in front of a House Judiciary Committee that finding important health history from their biological parents is difficult and expensive.

Carolyn Pooler said genetic counseling costs thousands of dollars, but new legislation could let parents release medical information and a full birth certificate to their biological children turning 18.

Ina Lewis of Blue Springs says family medical history is vital, but many adoptees don't have that information.

Actuality:  LEWIS.WAV
Run Time:  00:06
Description: "So when we go to the doctor they'll have, you know, the forms you fill out... we have to say, 'we don't know.'"

A couple representatives voiced concerns that the bill could create privacy problems for biological parents.

No action has been taken on the bill.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Mark Hodges.

Intro: 
Representatives say a bill might compromise the privacy of parents who put their children up for adoption.
RunTime:  0:46
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: A House Judiciary Committee hearing focused on legislation allowing parents to release more information to their biological children upon turning 18.

The bill would let parents give detailed medical history and contact information along with a full birth certificate.

Advocates say the bill would help adoptees with medical treatment.

Kansas City-area Republican Representative Jeanie Lauer, who sponsors the bill, says providing information would be optional.

Actuality:  LAUER.WAV
Run Time:  00:07
Description: "Should there be any kind of mandatory requirement for birth parents, I believe that's when it would get into more privacy issues."

Carolyn Pooler, who was adopted, testified that more detailed medical information would have helped her with cancer treatment.

No action has been taken on the bill.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Mark Hodges.


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