A national professional genetic counseling group announced support for genetic testing of children during the adoption process.
"The National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) supports collecting available health information (including medical, genetic, and family history) for children entering the adoption process," the society said in a recent statement.
"As with any child, concerns that arise about a genetic condition should be relayed to a clinical genetics specialist to determine if genetic testing is appropriate. Decisions to genetically test a child during the adoption process should be made based on the child’s current medical needs and should not be used solely to decide whether to adopt the child."
Genetic testing on a child should be done before the end of the adoption process, the NSGC said in the statement.
The announcement comes after NSGC Ethics and Clinical Genetics expert Laura Hercher discussed what individuals should know about the gene known as MTHFR in an article on Caredash.com.
MTHFR "has been blamed for everything from constipation to autism" but most who have it don't know about it, Care Dash writer Zawn Villines states in the article. "However, for some, uncovering this mutation by visiting a genetic counselor can offer a path to better health."
No treatments currently exist to "correct" defects that MTHFR may cause, but knowing the gene is present is useful, Villines said.
"Gene therapy might be possible in the future, but for now, treatment aims to correct the effects of the MTHFR mutation — not change a person's genes," Villines states.
In it's more recent announcement, the NSGC recommended the genetic testing of children as part of the adoption process.
"Prior to finalizing the adoption, NSGC recommends that the adoption agency or child's representative confirm the biological and adoptive parents' preferences for re-contact regarding genetic test results or medically significant family history," the NSGC said.