Genetic testing and adoption: Practitioner views and knowledge

Patricia Taylor, University of Houston
Susan C. Mapp, Elizabethtown College
Needha Boutté-Queen, Texas Southern University
Stephen Arch Erich, University of Houston-Clear Lake


The call for social work to provide professionals with information about genetics testing is now more than 20. years old. The growth of knowledge of genetics and the advent of genetic testing has raised new ethical dilemmas for social workers, including the potential of using this knowledge when matching children for adoption. The authors of the current study examined whether social workers practicing in the area of children and families had education in genomics/genetics throughout their career, including continuing education, and the impact of that on their opinions about the use of genetic testing in adoption. A random selection of 1000 NASW members received the survey packet, which was completed and returned by 261 people (26%). Of the respondents, the most recent social work graduates were no more likely to have had any education in genetics than those who graduated 25 or more years ago. Having received education was associated with more favorable opinions about the use of genetic testing in adoption. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.