Children of Donor Insemination: A Child's Right to Know

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There are couples where one member is infertile, there are women or men who may want to raise a child on their own, and there are homosexual couples―these are all people, who need help in order to procreate. They can turn to gamete donors in order to pursue the goal they have of procreating. One half of the child’s genetic material would come from someone who would be raising the child, while the other half would come from a donor. In this essay I intend to argue that it is ethically appropriate to inform children who are conceived by means of an egg or sperm donor of their biological origins and, in the case that they wish to know, the identity of their non-social, biological parent.

The first point I want to make is that I think it is not the choice of the social parent or parents to decide whether a child they have should know that he or she was created with the help of donor gametes. The child deserves to know this fact, regardless of the opinion of their social parent(s). There are two main reasons why I am arguing that a child is entitled to know their biological origin.

The first reason, is for the child's health. By knowing that they were created using donor gametes, the child can therefore understand that they have some external medical history. This would be particularly relevant in the case that a child may have inherited some hereditary disease that the donor clinic missed in genetic screening. The medical history factor may become less relevant as technology to understand an individual person’s genome further develops, becomes more accessible, and is more easily interpreted. Regardless, knowing that some of you genes come from somewhere else is something that could guide some medical decisions. In some cases, ha...

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...dentity of their donor they should be allowed and able to do so.

Works Cited

Borry, Pascal and Kris Dierickx. “What are the limits of the duty of care? The case of clinical genetics.” Personalized Medicine 5.2 (2008): 101. Web. 7 March 2014.

Burr, J. and P. Reynolds. “Thinking Ethically about Genetic Inheritance: Liberal Rights, Communitarianism and the Right to Privacy for Parents of Donor Insemination Children.” J Med Ethics 34.4 (2008): 281-284. Web. 7 March 2014.

Daniels, Ken. “The Controversy Regarding Privacy Versus Disclosure Among Patients Using Donor Gametes in Assisted Reproductive Technology.” Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics 14.7 (1997): 373-375. Web. 7 March 2014.

Ladd, Mary. “Maps of beauty and disease: thoughts on genetics, confidentiality, and biological family.” J Med Ethics 36.8 (2010): 479-482. Web. 7 March 2014.

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