Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Leading Academic McWhinnie: DI Fertility Treatment 'Traumatises Children' (per

no. 283

The article linked above, pubished 10/25/2006, states:

CHILDLESS couples were yesterday warned that fertility treatment could traumatise their future children.

A leading academic claims that children are left angry and resentful of their parents when they discover they were conceived through a sperm donor. Dr Alexina McWhinnie, of Dundee University, said donor conception was soaring in Scotland, yet no-one had thought of the consequences.

Dr McWhinnie has researched and investigated the lives of donor-conceived children in several research projects, the most recent in 2001. "No matter how they found out about their origins, the reported reaction was anger, resentment and a loss of a sense of self and identity," she said.

What bothers me about this 5 line article is that it provides no links to where or in what context Dr. McWhinnie makes her claim. It does not state where the statements were made or whether the statements are part of any current research being published by Dr. McWhinnie. There is no author taking credit for this story and nothing to corroborate or support it.

I almost want to think that The Scotsman, which has continuously covered the lack of sperm donors in Scotland, needed to fill space and figured since they have covered this issue continually we would not notice the lack of substance to this piece.

Without support and references this article does nothing more than provide a scary headline. If this is a lead story in a print edition I'd say they were trying to merely sell papers. Come on guys you can do better than this. Your readers deserve better.


Rachel Inbar said...

The most recent research she did was in 2001 and they finally found time to mention it now? I guess her opinion is really respected...

I remember reading that a surprisingly high percentage of babies born in Great Britain are not the biological offspring of their birth fathers (and not because of DI) - I will try to find the article. That seems far more traumatic to me, as it involves betrayal of the father. With DI, conception happened with the father's knowledge. What's the traumatic part? Not knowing details about the family and genetics? Not getting to know many of the biological relatives? These issues are not unique to DI. To give just two examples: many holocaust survivors have no knowledge of their heritage and no known biological relatives... and what about all the babies who survived the tsunami in Thailand?

DI_Dad said...

Apparently McWhinnie just wrote the foward and afterward to a new Donor Conception related book titled "Who am I?". If you link through the post title to the Scotsman article and then down to Karen's (Whose Daughter)comment there is a link to the book.

Still the article as a piece of journalism was deficient and bordering on sensationalistic without referring to any support.