Returning a Genomic Result for an Adult-Onset Condition to the Parents of a Newborn: Insights From the BabySeq Project

Pediatrics. 2019 Jan;143(Suppl 1):S37-S43. doi: 10.1542/peds.2018-1099H.


The return of information from genomic sequencing in children, especially in early life, brings up complex issues around parental autonomy, the child's future autonomy, the best interest standard, and the best interests of the family. These issues are particularly important in considering the return of genomic results for adult-onset-only conditions in children. The BabySeq Project is a randomized trial used to explore the medical, behavioral, and economic impacts of integrating genomic sequencing into the care of newborns who are healthy or sick. We discuss a case in which a variant in a gene for an actionable, adult-onset-only condition was detected, highlighting the ethical issues surrounding the return of such finding in a newborn to the newborn's parents.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Genes, BRCA2*
  • Genetic Variation
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Neonatal Screening
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics
  • Parents*
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Truth Disclosure / ethics*
  • Whole Genome Sequencing*