Saturday, October 22, 2011

When Finding a Donor or Half Sibs Could Mean Life or Death

When I first started writing this blog, I came across a number of blogs written by young donor conceived adults mostly from outside the United States. One such blog was "who do you think you are?" written by Narelle Grech. The blog's URL subtitles it as T-5s daughter. She was an opinionated, straight talking, never afraid to be in your face blogger. And she challenged my thoughts and feelings about donor conception with a semi-confrontational tone which I appreciated. Others tried the same tone when commenting on my posts and came off as simply angry. Narelle's honesty I found appealing and I knew her opinion to be worth listening to.

Narelle is now battlling stage four bowel cancer. And where her search for her donor and half siblings was originally an effort to know who she is, genetically, ethnically, and for all the normal identity issues most donor conceived are trying to answer, her quest is now to also find these individuals to counsel them to get tested for possible early warnings of cancer. I learned about her current battle through this 10/22/11 story in the Herald Sun.

Her story, this story, is another reason why I believe it is so important that access to records not be lost or taken away or left to the auspices of individual commercial cryobanks. In Narelle's case the records exists and are known where they are but she has no legal right of access to the existing identifying information about the donor.

This is an example of where the system needs to include mechanisms to allow such medical based access as it is clearly a case where lives could be saved or lost.


Jessica White said...

This is one of the things that make me most nervous for my own children, since we used an "anonymous donor". I'd like to think that in the event of something happening, that at least our cryobank would be willing to contact other families, to inform them of medical discoveries we may make. But we won't know unless that becomes a reality.

Bea said...

Yes, I would hope, will hope that some sort of mechanism can be provided to at least contact individuals in some way under such circumstances.