Monday, May 21, 2007

Parents to Decide Over Secrecy of Sperm Donors Not Birth Certificates

no. 376

The Times Online ran a story on May 18th, linked here, reporting that parents will get to decide whether to tell their children that a sperm donor was used in their conception.

This conclusion is based on the UK Department of Health not including in its draft Human Tissue & Embryos Bill a provision requiring birth certificates to indicate if a child is donor gamete conceived.

The British Association of Adopting and Fostering ("BAAF")had as recently as May 17th called "for amendments to the draft Human Tissues and Embryos Bill to ensure donor-conceived children have access to fundamental information about their identity" via notation on each donor conceived child's birth certificate.

While anyone who reads this blog knows I am favor of openess / disclosure to a DCP of their origin I must admit I am not sure where to come down on the issue of a notation on a individual's birth certificate.

Where I fully understand the purpose of what BAAF is calling for as it would compel a parent to tell, I am concerned that such a mark would lead to secondary status. I would never want my child to be envious of a star belly sneetch or feel they are one and believe it to be mark of unequality. Sorry too much Dr. Seuss in our house this week. I have always been leery of government intruding on privacy issues and this idea scares me.

I also am not sure it is the place of the government to compel parents period. Yes I understand to not tell in effect violates the DCP's right to their own history etc. I also realize it is naive of me to expect all parents to automatically plan to tell but again I have issues with privacy and perceived government intrusion. Hard questions.

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