Sunday, January 12, 2014

Mandatory Donor Conception Workshops ? Voluntary?

Over the years I have often referred to my children's DI conception as analogous to a half adoption. The term allows people to see the similarities between the two communities with respect to various issues. One of the issues I have discussed before is how couples / individuals looking to adopt have usually been required to go through an interview process and very often some sort of educational seminar or workshop prior to an adoption being granted. I have often wondered why the use of donor conception methods does not require a similar process. 

The answer lies I suspect in the fact that in the adoption process the child already exists, has rights, and the State has an obligation to ensure the child is placed with an individual or family best suited for that adoption. In cases where donor conception is chosen, it is being used very often to overcome infertility issues or the fact the couple (gay/lesbian) cannot obviously procreate without the use if third party gametes and here there is no child who rights and safety must be currently safeguarded by the State. 

Should cryobanks / clinics require some sort of counseling or information sessions prior to starting DC procedures? Perhaps. Some offer information or counseling in some form but I am unaware if it is mandatorily required by any such institution currently. Certainly no US state health law requires it that I know of. Let me know if your state does. 

My own view is I wish there was some requirement. How it would be administered, signed off on, I cannot say but I would expect the experience would shift the paradigm from donor conception from being used as an infertility mask to a opportunity for the potential parents to understand the issues and possible ramifications / questions / issues that the donor conceived individuals may face in their lives. 

The UK Donor Conception Network offers such a seminar that I did not realize existed.  I would love to see such seminars adapted here by local chapters of the American Fertility Association or Resolve.  

Do I expect legislation or regulations here in the US to require such seminars to be in parity with local adoption laws? Unlikely. Medical establishments and cryobanks want no roadblocks to easy use of DC as simply a treatment option and want little or no contact with any additional red tape. 

Should such seminars be encouraged? Yes. To require them to be mandatory? Unlikely it will ever happen but I would vote Yay. There are simply to many benefits to the adults and to the children of knowledgeable and loving parents. 

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