I read an article today on Huffpost.com titled: The Death of the Family Secret. In a nutshell, the article is about how, with the use of commercial DNA testing, people are uncovering secrets, lies, and hidden truths about their families. The article discusses the ethics involved in exposing such secrets AND questions where privacy fits into the equation for those who desperately want to keep such secrets. Ethics?
If you’ve read my book, THE LIES THAT BIND, you’d know that I believe that a secret or a lie that covers up the core of another person’s identity is not okay. Never. Ever.
My story deals with the secrets and lies that go hand in hand with closed records adoption. Other scenarios that cause people to keep secrets include the use of sperm donors, egg donors, surrogacy, or even just flat out lies to cover up an affair. No matter what the reason, lies about a person’s biological origins–heritage, medical history, family legacy, relatives . . . are not OKAY!
This is the quote from the article that got me going:
“Where do your rights to learn these secrets end and the rights of others to keep them begin? What makes a family? What role should your DNA play in your sense of self or identity?”
A right to keep a secret about another person’s identity? I don’t get it. That’s not a right.
What role should DNA play? Well, no one can answer that. DNA plays the role it plays. It’s science. Human body systems, organs, tissues, and cells play roles in identity. It’s the nature vs. nurture argument all over again. To understand where one comes from is to begin to understand one’s identity.
DNA has been, and continues to be, a lifesaver (literally and figuratively) for adoptees. And it’s not going away. Funny thing is, a majority of the states (California included!) are keeping the closed records rules in place, despite the increasing popularity in commercial DNA testing. DNA testing, combined with the growing trend (and big business of) genealogy, are blowing apart the archaic rules and legalities behind closed records adoptions. It’s about time.
By the way, Happy Father’s Day! Thanks to DNA, I found my biological father. Read more about my story in my book, THE LIES THAT BIND. And, I’m celebrating by having a sale for both the paperback and ebook at Amazon! It’s a shameless plug, I know. But, I would like to know your thoughts on the article and about DNA uncovering our truths.
Happy Father’s Day!