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Should Children Born from Donor-Assisted Reproduction Have Access to Information About Their Genetic Parents?

Essay by   •  February 7, 2011  •  Essay  •  997 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,487 Views

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Should Children Born from Donor-Assisted Reproduction Have Access to Information about their Genetic Parents?

Donor-assisted insemination is a process that enables a woman to conceive a child through the donated sperm/egg of a male or female. Donor insemination is a technique that has been used around the world for fifty eight years. This technique is often used in situations where a man or woman suffer from infertility and are unable to produce children on their own. Donor-insemination is also used to help gay people or single people have children. In these cases, the child grow up to never know their genetic father/mother. The children born from donor- assisted reproduction only have access to basic, non-identifying information such as: race, height, eye-color, etc. This is not enough information to settle the donor-inseminated (DI) children's desire to know about their parents. I personally think the DI children have a natural right to know where they came from. Many DI children say that knowing about their genetic parent is something that they desire more than anything in the world. These children have a right to know about their genetic background, not only for themselves, but for their children as well.

Sperm donations provides people with a miracle to be able to raise a child that has a connection with them, unlike adopted children. The problem is that once these children grow up and find out the truth about their origin, they develop a curiosity about their genetic parent. It is unfair to tell these children that they will never know half of their history and culture. Many DI children feel as if they have been denied a basic right. Even adopted children have the right to search for their genetic parents. Why can't DI children be entitled to this same privilege? Many problems have occurred from donor anonymity. In one case , a half brother and sister married and later found out they were related. Even though, there are ways to find out if two people are related through medical technology, should DI children have to screen every relationship they get in? There was also a case in California, where twins were born and their uncle turned out to also be their genetic father! When cases like this occur, it can cause incest between half brothers and sisters and genetic disorders will be widely increased. In many cases, DI children have also needed their parents medical history for heart or kidney transplants, in life or death situations. Will the DI children still be denied information about their genetic parents then too?

There are many solutions that can be offered to ease the curiosity of the children conceived through donor insemination. The United States is already behind other counties who have banned donor anonymity. In Britain, where thirty seven thousand people are born each year through sperm donations, a law was passed just this year that DI children will have the right to discover the identity of their genetic parents once they reach the age of eighteen. This is what should be done in the United States. DI children should be given the right to be able to find their parents if they chose to. All donor parents do not want privacy, some say they would not mind seeing the child they produced one day. This would not mean that the donor parents would have financial or legal responsibility for the child.

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